The Kidcrash

New Ruins

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Singer Alex Gaziano sounds so much like the Cure's Robert Smith that it's easy to get distracted from the intricate guitar interplay on the Kidcrash's debut album, but try not to make that mistake. It's not that his voice isn't worth listening to -- Robert Smith's anguished deadpan wail was the perfect post-punk vocal sound, and it's worth imitating -- it's just that the best stuff here is happening with the guitars, whose angular counterpoint and emotive power-chord crashes alternate nicely with intricate changes and subtly extended jazz chords. Kidcrash sounds like a math rock band with a heart, or maybe an emo band with a brain. Either way, the combination is dang near perfect and their crunchy, sideways songs seem to grow sharper hooks the more you listen to them. Highlights include the nicely structured "Until the Light Kills the Film" and a minor gem titled "Scalpel Cuts Concrete" that includes two of the loveliest twin-guitar interludes ever committed to tape (and that's twin-guitar in the Fripp/Belew sense of the term, not the .38 Special sense). Very highly recommended.

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