"The Adventure of" CDR
Genres: lo-fi, indie rock, experimental rock
Sep 8 - 14 2003
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
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.
[Vitals: 22 tracks, distributed by the