Review Summary: Burning pages.
Flicker Records is one of the most inconsistent record lables in music in many ways, in the fact that the the bands it holds are typically very “meh” and wishy-washy with their style. Bands on Flicker usually end up seriously disappointing fans and fading into the brink of obscurity (Audio Adrenaline, Hawk Nelson, Eleventyseven,) releasing a couple decent records and then disbanding (This Beautiful Republic), or just continuing to release decent yet inoffensive albums(Pillar). They are the Rise Records of the Christian alternative rock(in some cases, alternative metal) world, and just cannot seem to really hit on anything overpoweringly strong. What about Kids In The Way? Will they be the knockout punch for Flicker, will Safe From The Losing Fight
garner at least decency such as TBR or Pillar?
David Pelsue, the throat-for-hire working for Kids In The Way, has a fully capable voice and there’s no doubting its power. Think of Pillar’s Rob Berkley mixed with a little Stephen Christian (Anberlin) and Bert McCracken (The Used). His screams are powerful, though not quite to the power of RED or Breaking Benjamin. Guitar-wise, there’s a massive Paramore influence. You’ll hear predominantly octaves, occasional palm-muted Drop D power chords, and maybe a nice lead every now and then. For the most part, you won’t find anything memorable in this department, and in the rare moments you do, they are typically quite short-lived. Drums and bass are par for the course for this type of project: they may have their moments, but for the most part, just fade into simply keeping the rhythm.
“This Fire We Started Made Wreckage Of All That We Know”, despite the painfully long song title, is easily the best song of the entire record, because the entire band works like a well-made clock to make each and every individual part of the song fit perfectly. David sounds great, there’s actually some catchy guitar work, and both the drums and the bass sound relatively strong. “Moving Mountains” works well due to its dark atmosphere, clever lyricism, and heavy wall of sound from the guitars. This is possibly the only other song of the record that really leaps out of the album and grabs the listener by the throat, never letting go until draining each bit of listening energy from its victim.
Unfortunately, the rest of the record is much too samey, ripping on both itself and other, ultimately more successful artists. There’s a dark cloud of a less mature Classic Crime or Paramore (All We Know Is Falling
-era) with a male vocalist. Both of the aforementioned bands have performed this kind of style much better than Kids In The Way, and thus, this just comes off as a cheap substitute. Lyrically, wow it's a borefest. When I said that “Moving Mountains” is the only track showing true lyrical creativity (appropriating apocalyptic vernacular to illustrate the concept of absolute hope in the darkest of times, though not quite as cleverly as Oh Sleeper or RED), I meant it. Everything else just sounds like an angsty’s teen’s diary, dealing with topics like love and loss in the worst ways rather than tastefully.
Alternative rock/emo isn’t totally my genre, so I knew I was taking a bit of a risk here. Still, as someone who has listened to some of the genre’s heavyweights and enjoyed them, I’m not sure a hardcore fan of this subset could really find something to dig their teeth into on Safe From The Losing Fight
. The standouts might grab you, casual listener or hardcore listener alike, but aside from that, this falls pretty hard on its face.