Kids are becoming icons just for the sake of being “entertaining”, kids are being singed by record companies just for the sake of looking cute and letting themselves be auto-tuned into something that feels like soulless music, kids are placing low standards for what success means: are we doomed? Deven Ivy, Ben and Max Redman beg to differ.
Barely in their middle teenage years, this trio Residual Kids has jumped from the Austin music scene to play shows at SXSW, Austin City Limits and FunFunFun fest, New York and Colorado; to being signed by Red Light Management (a company that takes care of artists such as Tim McGraw, Alabama Shakes and Faith Hill) and playing along Peter Murphy through Denver. While some of us were barely learning our first chords at their age, Residual Kid has already begun to make a name in the music industry.
Now, with some songs already cooking up for their next material, we bring to you the joy of listening to their first EP as a trio, Faces: a batch of six songs that sound too angry and raw for such sweet looking youngins’. It seems that we still haven’t learned not to underestimate youth.
Opening up with the track of the same name, Faces takes us back to the early nineties angst formula: power chords distorted around howls, simple lyrics, tempo bipolarity and plain guitar madness. This mayhem just gets you ready for the second track, Friend, one of those rare wonderful marriages between bubblegum pop and grunge, with a catchy lyric less chorus and an early Weezer influenced atmosphere. Also, that distorted bass line with bring back some Pixies memories to your ears.
Almost hallway through, Purple Shoes seems to make fun of the early rock n roll song structures and superficiality: a background chorus rephrasing the main singer, a clap-along medley, zombie-ish drumming, lifeless guitar strums, but all of this with a twist. It all gets killed (in a good way) by a ballsy distorted bass riff that opened the song and a Sonic Youth-like guitar, two elements that were replaced forty seconds into the song and that make a triumphant comeback by the end of it. You got to love when artists have a sense of humor.
Pulling Through plays once again with grunge’s tempo bipolarity, adding a little metal into it, craziness and demonic help from hell. This is one of the sweet spots on the EP, one of those songs you can tell would be a great head banging material played live. The next song, Lab Rat, might be the rawest and most incendiary track inside Faces. As soon as that song comes out of the speakers, it runs through you and turns you on break-shit-up mode. An influence on The Dead Weather’s raunchiest tunes can be felt throughout the song, since Deven, Ben and Max are huge Jack White fans. White and Dean Fertita would be proud of the instrumental work in this album and the loudest palms seem to go for the last track of it.
Lost Cause sounds like the most coherent song in terms of a real connection between the rhythm changes and the lyrics in it. Like an inner fight between defeat and hope, the track goes back and forth between hard rock, goth punk, heavy ballad, happiness, cockiness and sadness. The back yells by the shout of lost cause! add something extra to the already fist inducing way the drums, distorted guitar and fat bass wrap each other.
When we first wrote about Residual Kid in our Song of the Day section, we mentioned their already obvious talent for such a young age. This might not be the best EP of their fore coming career, because there’s a lot this band has to live through yet. If so many things witnessed and lived by this band’s young members has given us such a solid EP, then what could we expect when they reach the hardest eras for any musician and human being? What music could come out of their first breakup, their first middle finger from this bitch of a music industry or a significant loss of a big opportunity or a beloved one?
Residual Kid seems, by now, a great band in the making. And, if we already said that the kids are alright, the adult talent about to happen can be foreseen through this big-little EP and through the potential this little big band from Texas has.
Written by Jorge A. López Mendicuti
OurVinyl | Senior Writer