Raise The Kids

Written by: PP on 25/08/2015 22:13:30

Like probably most other UnWed listeners, I was introduced to the band via a post on Hot Water Music's Facebook page, where they announced their bassist Jason Black was in the band alongside their tour manager Neltie Penman on vocals, and that they'd just put out their debut album "Raise The Kids" on 6131 Records. The lineup also reads Jeff Gensterblum of Small Brown Bike fame on drums, so to say the lineup is rather stacked is a fair statement especially when you add Arthur Shepherd of Primitive Weapons to the mix.

However, if you come into this album geared up for an original post-hardcore release in the vein of HWM or Small Brown Bike, you're likely to be disappointed. Sure, they utilize a similar instrumental base, going for that late 90s sound in the genre, but they're more comparable to Rival Schools in that sense, and more importantly, they draw parallels to many, many other female fronted artists from the last few years. Spinnerette and Brody Dalle's own solo material certainly come to mind, as do Melissa Auf Der Maur and even Juliette Lewis at times. The reason for that is simple: Neltie Penman's singing style is extremely fragile and faded back, often barely hitting notes correctly as her quiet croons create a lingering dreamy atmosphere on the record. Frankly, she's not a very good singer so the vocal melodies are often disappointing compared to the solid instrumental base that lies underneath. There are exceptions, though, like the exceptionally good "Girl Drink Drunk" which features a classic SBB style quiet/loud explosion. Here, it sounds like the rest of the band are doing screamed backing vocals in the background, which gives her style a much-needed contrast. It's a shame this dynamic isn't used more often on the record.

In general, "Raise The Kids" is a fairly experimental release. The guitars are unconventional and follow the depth-laden post-hardcore meets punk format that's associated with all of the members' main bands. It's dragged down by the vocal department significantly, leaving the record only with a few noteworthy songs. It's a surprisingly weak product considering their lineup.

Download: Girl Drink Drunk, Pepsico
For the fans of: Rival Schools, Spinnerette, Melissa Auf Der Maur, Brody Dalle, Juliette Lewis
Listen: Facebook

Release date 14.04.2015
6131 Records

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