Review Summary: A sweet spot.
And The Kids possess a certain it
factor that is lacking in so many modern indie bands. It seems that every week a new female-fronted indie-pop outfit sprouts out of the ground, all slick and sparkly; ready to dazzle us. And The Kids are extremely consistent, sure, but I don’t think that alone is it
. There’s a sincerity to Hannah Mohan’s voice that can’t be manufactured, like the way she over-annunciates in order to stress emotion. It’s not too different from something Jim Adkins might do, like when he drew out the chorus in “Heart is Hard to Find” on 2010’s Invented
. In fact, I’d go as far as to say And The Kids remind me a little bit of what a female-fronted indie-pop version of Jimmy Eat World might sound like. They know how to craft a hook, every song feels like it belongs exactly where they placed it, and there’s just enough going on instrumentally to keep the experience interesting.
When This Life Is Over
sort of melts together; it’s less a collection of songs as it is a vibe. The production is lightweight and airy, but the guitars are pronounced – and the drumming grounded – so that it never approaches dream pop status. Besides, it doesn’t float
like Beach House so much as it does glide
, almost like shoegaze, but favoring obviously defined vocal harmonies over atmospheric glaze. While gems like ‘No Way Sit Back’, ‘Champagne Ladies’, and ‘Religion’ climb on each other’s shoulders to grip the attention of their listeners, most of When This Life Is Over
settles back into a reserved groove. The subtle hooks and choruses could almost pass for pleasant background music, if only they didn’t hold up so well under individual scrutiny too. Every song is uniquely defined by something
, guaranteeing that And The Kids aren’t just another glamorous, overproduced, glorified pop band. And The Kids’ third LP never wows us: it never launches into a breakdown or solo, there’s no life-altering lyrics, and few if any of these choruses will be able to latch onto mainstream radio. Maybe they need a little spark to be better than just enjoyable and reliably great
. But as they keep searching for their next launching pad, this sweet spot they’ve settled into is undeniably satisfying.