Kinetic Stereokids

Kid Moves

Written by: PP on 23/03/2009 13:27:19

I'm sure most of you have heard about Flint, Michigan, as it is the poor town-of-choice for most of Michael Moore's government policy-gone-wrong examples in his movies and books alike. I'm also relatively sure that next to none of you will have heard about Kinetic Stereokids, who started as childhood friends in the very city, and their sophomore full length "Kid Moves". Apparently these guys are being dubbed as "junkyard folktronica", leaving it as my duty to explain to you just whatever the hell that is. Here goes, although it's a tough one.

Lets start with 'folktronica', a combination of electronica and folk music, effectively translating into a singer-songwriter feel with some added electronics thrown in for good measure. The 'junkyard' term then comes through the somewhat sloppy production and inclusion of weird instruments and sounds, such as the occasional weirder-than-thou drum sounds that really could originate from bashing random items in a junkyard in an attempt to drain the place for all the cool sounds it might contain. Sounds intriguing, eh? Although all that holds true with regard to "Kid Moves", the reality is much more normal. "Have A Nice Day", for instance, has a Blur/Oasis type Britrock feel to it despite the folk instrumentation. "Free Money", the track that opens the album, has a bit of the same vibe that you've heard on any Barenaked Ladies albums, although perhaps a Beck reference could be more appropriate here. In other words, Kinetic Stereokids combine folk elements with pop and alternative rock in a hotpot of diverse sounds and atmospheres. "Planes With Teeth" has a variety of different electronica sounds in it, including classic DJ-spinning, while the singer sounds a lot like the dude from Portugal. The Man. "Assisted Living" could be the catchiest track on the record with it's forceful acoustic guitar line and the hand clapping, and it's here where the Beck reference is most justified.

The experimental ballad "Convalescent Feelings" opens up a softer section in the album, followed by the folksy and gentle "Cancer". Then in comes the hip-hop in the form of "Proper Etiquette", but if you ask me, hip-hop has really no place on an album like this (in fact, hip hop has no place in music industry, but that's besides the point). Same goes for "Drugs Is A Drag" which only manages to annoy me, really. Likewise, "Blunder" is a little too experimental noise-obsessed to be on the same album as earlier tracks like "Free Money". As you can see, the point I'm trying to bring across here is that the second half of the album is much weaker than the first, save for the magnificent "Strategic Maneuvers", which is easily the best track of the whole album. I'm thinking Travis meets acoustic-folk rock here. Shame it's been left as the last one (other than the bonus track "Code Red"), but I suppose it closes the album on a good note.

6

Download: Strategic Maneuvers, Free Money, Have A Nice Day
For the fans of: Beck, Blur, Travis, Mogwai
Listen: Myspace

Release date 17.03.2009
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