steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

2.2 Kid Life

"Villains" CD

Ionik Recordings

Genres: indie pop, lo-fi

130 S 22nd St 2F
Philadelphia PA

Oct 4 - 10 2004

With all of the songs around four minutes long, and only one person responsible for all but one song, it's clear Villains is not about straying from formula.  Why should it be?  2.2 Kid Life's last album, The Escape Artist, was one of the best lo-fi discs to come out in ages, and its most impressive aspect was its consistently pretty, simple arrangement style.  Despite that, it's not unreasonable to yearn for a bit more from Villains - as pleasant as these songs are, you'll have a hard time singling out particular tracks when all is said and done.

2.2 Kid Life's Frank Longano has a unique approach to his craft, lending his songs a sweet, melodic depth that recalls Terror Twilight era Pavement.  Guitar and vocals are in the foreground, while the rest of the sound is made up of drum machine beats and electronic atmospheres.  The style is very sensitive, with lots of echoing guitar and keyboard, as well as lush vocals.  On certain songs ("When the World Is at Your Feet, Part 2," "Was I a Reckless Driver"), we seem to move towards slowcore territory (Low, Mojave 3), while other tracks are cheerier and more uplifting ("Radiopaque," "How I Saved Western Culture.")  Longano relies on electronic beats to give life to his songs; for example, "A Shadow Falls" would simply be a shimmering, folk-tinged pop tune if it weren't for the punching beat that carries the chorus.  The 2.2 Kid Life style certainly has its influences and similarities, but its typical feel is definitely unique.

Villains isn't as original and moving as Longano's last album, but it is still a fine bit of bedroom lo-fi.  Although many of these songs will require repeated listens before they stick, patience will unearth some of 2.2 Kid Life's pop gems. 


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 10 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2004]