Three years after their 2011 debut cracked the Billboard Top 200, Poughkeepsie, New York's We Are the In Crowd deliver their follow-up LP, Weird Kids. The members of the pop-punk quintet, which formed in 2009, spent their first few years together in a whirlwind of activity, touring hard and releasing both their first EP and debut album shortly afterward. Working with veteran producer John Feldmann (All Time Low, Panic! At the Disco, the Used), the bandmembers took some time to get their heads together and stretch out a bit while making their follow-up. Expanding on the emotive but fairly straightforward guitar-led pop of its first album, the band immediately strikes a different chord with the somber piano anthem "Long Live the Kids," which opens Weird Kids. Confessional lyrics are par for the course in this type of music, but WATIC seem to have dug a little deeper this time, particularly on the moody "Windows in Heaven," in which singer Taylor Jardine sings about her late father. They've also opened up their palette stylistically with the lush midtempo ballad "Come Back Home" and the intricate string-led "Don't You Worry." There's a bit more maturity and personality to some of these tracks that speaks of a band coming into its own. Still, for fans of their first two releases, Weird Kids provides plenty of the snarky sendoffs and he-said/she-said breakup rockers that drew people to the band in the first place. Lead single "The Best Thing (That Never Happened)" is all teeth and youthful punch, and the vocal interplay between co-vocalists Jardine and guitarist Jordan Eckes remains at the heart of their sound.
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AllMusic Review by Timothy Monger