Review: ‘Precious Art’ by Rozwell Kid
Rozwell Kid – Precious Art (2017)
Signed with: SideOneDummy Records
West Virginian indie rock/power pop outfit Rozwell Kid comes up with their fourth studio album Precious Art. In a year when Weezer didn’t give us a great follow-up to their acclaimed “white” album (Weezer, 2016), Rozwell Kid steps up with a line-up of heavy guitars, melodic leads, two-part harmony solos, and pop-punk sing-along choruses. Precious Art channels the heavy power pop songwriting of Rivers Cuomo, as well as post-hardcore/emo melody and introspective lyrics that brought me back to the sounds of bands like Brand New and The Get-Up Kids.
The album starts with the all-out punk rocker Wendy’s Thrash Can and from then forays into a rollercoaster of downtempo songs with a great sense of verse-chorus dynamics (Total Mess, Futon, MadTV), and heavy rock songs with poppy, catchy songwriting (UHF on DVD, Boomerang). The lead vocalist, Jordan Hudkins, is definitely not afraid of being quiet for a while and letting the instrumentals speak for themselves, and the band, as well, can step down and let the vocals take center stage. Sprinkled along the middle section of the album are short songs, or “interludes”, that allow the band to experiment with vocal harmonies (South By), or tell a lame joke (Wish Man). On overall, I really enjoyed the raw, balanced sound of the album, as well as the dynamic songwriting that allows the songs to breathe and the melody to stand out.
Negatives on the album include the lyrics, which appeal a little too much to juvenile relatability, using metaphors like boogers and underwear, and 90’s nostalgia, with references to old-school TV shows, celebrities and music. However, what might be a turn off for some people, might add to the “endless summer of youth” feel that the album is going for. Adding to this, the first track (Wendy’s Thrash Can) and the penultimate track (Gameball) feel a bit weaker than the rest of the songs, though I might be grasping at this point, since they undoubtedly fit the album thematic.
Highlights of the album are: Michael Keaton, Futon, Booger and Total Mess.
9/10 – Great record.
Listen to the Album (It’s a Playlist):