Album: We the Kings – Smile Kid
We the Kings
My first response to Smile Kid was “no”. The term “pop-punk” is one used to describe pretty much any band of this ilk. Androgynous singing, predominant drums and the inevitable power chorus. Geh.
Mind you, with their energy and happiness, as well as the occasional harmony singing, you kinda want to like them. Kinda.
The truth is, under the frankly annoying lyrics about girls and situations in life where you’re supposedly hard done-by, there are some quite decent riffs that, at best, could work very nicely on TV idents or summaries of football games on Match of the Day 2 (though it’ll never top ‘Eye Know’ by De La Soul).
Really, distinguishing songs on here is really as easy as getting enjoyment out of the DFS advert with Nickelback’s ‘Rock Star’ in the background, or persuading yourself that Twitter will still be popular in three years. It just can’t really be done.
As a result, it’s so tough to really give you any information about it. It really is like Green Day’s Warning – a good album if you’re comfortable listening to the same song seven or eight times and then a couple more half-similar tracks to boot to tie it together. If not, well, it’s pretty damn average – not openly dislikeable given its genre.
Those who like emo-style pop will lap this up. For anyone else? Despite their base-level talent and energy, they’re a carbon copy of so many bands that have come before.
And while they’ve been recognised by Lego Rock Band with ‘Check Yes Juliet’, it’s not exactly a track you’ll play. As one of the UK’s premier drummers on that game (I’m an absolute machine on ‘Lump’ by PRUSA and ‘Tom Sawyer’ by Rush), I’ve steered well clear of it. It’s just not satisfying to hear, never mind bust out some moves to.
They’ll slip out of public view in an album’s time – that is, of course, if they don’t alter their sound. I hope they do. They seem nice enough.
There was one bonus of this album, though; I listened to it largely on Spotify, and with ‘Smile Kid‘ typed in to the search bar you also get access to ‘Never Smile at a Crocodile’ by the Children’s Singalong Choir. It’s a banging tune.
Altogether now! “Don’t be taaaaaken in by his weeelcome grin… he’s imagining how well you’ll fit within his skin…”
By Matt Gardner
Smile Kid is out now on Virgin/S-Curve Records.