Good Riddance’s West Coast hardcore and Kill Your Idols’ East Coast hardcore make the argument that American geographical quibbles are essentially meaningless. Both are exciting bands, both are still gaining speed and smarts years down the line. Interestingly, they’re both getting harder and faster in a musical world that’s largely basking in emo’s mellowosity, which is a thumbs up in my book. Good Riddance: lead singer and lyricist, Russ, is becoming a smart, smart cookie and the band is following suit; sharp time changes, crystalline breakdowns, and swelling beats that makes them leagues beyond 1-2-3 youth crew stylings and beat-’em-about-the-head-and-neck politics of less finessed bands. It’s amazing how much Dave Wagenschutz’s drumming gives the band such a dark and compelling atmosphere. Kill Your Idols: I really had a problem with the production with their last CD. They excel as the musical equivalent to mistreated pit bulls, but it seemed that they’d been de-toothed and refitted with spongey dentures on that outing. Not so with these three short beatings of songs. They’ve re-harnessed their early 7”s power that can only come from severely choking their songs while slipping a wee bit of melody in for good measure (you know, like someone’s shoe tips on the floor when they’re being hung and a good song’s on the hi-fi). Short but very sweet.
–todd (Jade Tree)