It takes some sort of alchemy to blend disparate styles so effortlessly, doesn't it? Not quite sure what's in the record collections of the members of And The Kids but I can hear some things and take a few guesses: Grass Widow? Erase Errata? The Raincoats? The Slits? The Shaggs? Throwing Muses? Jane Siberry? Hugo Largo?
Well, that's certainly a mess of artists, ain't it? And The Kids have just dropped their new long-player this week. Called Turn to Each Other, the album is a fun, funky, and exciting collection of tunes. The soaring vocals battle with the rumbling drums and jazz-inflected hooks of "Devastation Celebration" and one can hear so many ideas happening at once. Rather than descend into chaos, the musicians hold things together and lead the song to a concise conclusion. This is bold, risky music-making that skirts the line between the truly avant garde and mainstream indie pop. I dig that!
"Cats were Born" imagines a strange mix of Patti Smith and Joni Mitchell. If the rollicking drums under the faster parts of the cuts add something Slits-ish to the mix, that makes perfect sense to a listener. On paper, it sounds like a mess but put together by And The Kids and it's the sound of genius.
Then we get to the punk sensibilities of "No Countries". If Sleater-Kinney formed a post-punk band on the side, one that dabbled in freer forms, they'd sound like this. Shimmering waves of noise and martial drums close this track in an artistic flourish.
Please click here for a free download of "No Countries"!
The cuts on the album all veer between genres but they do so with the trio having a firm grasp on the steering wheel. For music this out there at times, it's also music that is remarkably accessible. "Wiser" feels like it's going to fall apart but then a lovely bridge takes the song into James territory, oddly.
But that's typical of what And The Kids are doing on Turn to Each Other. I really enjoyed this album and, frankly, from the description I'd read of the music, I didn't think I would. But the reality is that this is infectious, not pretentious, music that shows 3 musicians taking enormous risks without losing sight of the goal of pleasing fans' ears. They have succeeded admirably here.
Turn to Each Other is out now. Find out more details and follow And The Kids on their official Facebook page.