RIYLNew Found Glory
Tracklist1. A Kid Called Down
3. Who's Your Villain
4. Split This Cake
5. Pretty Teeth
7. Luck Comes Easy
8. Nothing More, Just A Lie
9. Red Lights
10. If You're Sark, Then I'm Vaughn
11. On A Line
12. Get Up Again - Over And Out
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Burning Heart Records is a label that has a long history of signing great bands, and much of its output goes largely unnoticed in the United States despite being distributed by Epitaph. Most people associate Sweden with insane metal bands and needless to say, it was quite surprising to discover that Burning Heart's latest release would be a pop-punk band hailing from its native land. Obviously not sullened by the frigid Norwegian winters and sporadic amounts of sunlight that come with the territory, Sweden's Kid Down have created a fervent, happy-go-lucky ying to the metal scene's stormy, rabid yang. Their debut album And The Noble Art Of Irony is quite a fresh take on the modern pop-punk genre; intricately crafted and surprisingly ambitious this record would definitely put some serious moxie into Epitaph's increasingly questionable release schedule if they were to eventually release it in the U.S.
It's hard to pinpoint a "Don Giovanni" of modern pop-punk but it is pretty fair to say that And The Noble Art Of Irony does the genre proper justice and also reaches benchmarks that many in recent memory have failed to achieve. Kid Down aren't a band with any kind of goofy image, nor does their music need to make up for technical ability with overly dramatic lyrics and a marketing plan that includes recording their album in Somalia during a civil war. It's a lot easier to take a band seriously when they just let their music do the talking and with eleven of the thirteen songs on this record clocking in at over three minutes long, there is no indication that these guys were willing sacrifice substance for style. That isn't to say that the lyrical content enlightens us with complex topics, but this record is just so damn catchy that it's pretty hard to put down, and lets face it even The Descendents, who many hail as the godfathers of pop-punk, had some pretty silly songs themselves.
The length of Kid Down's songs also gave them the green light to cram in as much melody as possible, and it also allowed the songs to build up much slower, resulting in much more dramatic choruses/climaxes like on "Luck Comes Easy". They don't necessarily wear many of their influences on their sleeves, but there is definitely some Say Anything love on this disc which is displayed on the song "Split This Cake." Aside from that obvious homage to Max Bemis, And The Noble Art Of Irony manages to stand as an entity of its own. From the energetic gang vocal parts on "A Kid Called Down" to the frantic guitar noodling on "Who's Your Villain", this disc really incorporates just about every great characteristic of pop punk and they're all used in moderation, which keeps the disc sounding crisp from song to song. The only blunder on this disc might come during the song cut/paste. The lyrics at the beginning are pretty immature, but they more than make up for it with a great chorus.
It's hard to be won over by the stagnant quagmire that most pop-punk bands are emerging from these days, but Kid Down have seemingly mastered it on their first major full-length, which isn't an easy feat in this genre by any stretch of the imagination. Pop-punk fans would be wise to take the extra time to seek this record out and if you can take And The Noble Art Of Irony for what it is you might just find yourself transported back to a time when you didn't have to worry about your older brother stealing your younger sister's pants.
Note: As an extra sidenote, it has been pretty funny reading some of the Swedish reviews for this record that have been accusing them of being "too American." God forbid a band from Sweden not sound like In Flames or Refused.