steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Blain's Kids

"The Adventure of" CDR


Genres: lo-fi, indie rock, experimental rock

Sep 8 - 14 2003

Blain's Kids are a group of youngsters who play short, lo-fi pop songs about eighties Nintendo game The Legend of Zelda. As a self-described fan of the video game, I have to say that I was looking to reviewing the two discs the band sent me. By luck of the draw I picked up The Adventure of Blain's Kids first, which is apparently a collection of "b-sides" from the band's other album, The Legend of Blain's Kids.

Altogether, the disc sounds more like a goofy high school project than an actual serious release. The lyrics, most of the time at least loosely based around Zelda characters, although often just silly nonsense, go well with the wacky, just-for-the-fun-of-it songwriting. But the whole thing is definitely an acquired taste, a theatre of the absurd view of music. It's recording for the sake of recording.

Melody at this state of rawness is hardly catchy, although the band shows some true talent under the rough edges of their music. Emo styles are mixed with simple pop hooks. Some tunes fare better than others. For example, "Stalfos" has a cool, understated emo-pop sound, while "Lanmola" has a nice, sorrowful feel not far off from Will Oldham or early Songs: Ohia work, except its seven and a half minute duration is too long. As well, the vocals are much too loud in the mix.

It's clear that Blain's Kids fare better with less raucous, more pop based material as opposed to their emo songs. When the guitars go into overdrive, the songs lose their atmosphere. The poor recording quality, which isn't necessarily a bad thing in some cases, doesn't manage to capture the more energetic parts of the band's sound. If they wish to pursue that angle of their music, it's clear that they'll either have to pay for production that records the instruments and vocals appropriately and at decent relative volumes, or stick to live performances.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 22 tracks, distributed by the band]