The Used Kids break-up? To add a rhyme to "Midwest Midsummer," major bummer.
This band, which comprised current/ex-members of the Ergs!, Modern Machines and Cheeky, left behind a real solid full-length. Yeah No is an abruptly titled but well-thought-out collection of album rock/'80s college rock/bar rock infused with a pop-punk sense and pressed to 12" wax or a digital download courtesy of If You Make It.
The first dozen seconds or so of opener "Dancing Off the Edge of the World" sound like they were lifted straight off Double Nickels on the Dime before vintage keyboards enter the fold, as does guitarist Nato Coles's nicely weathered voice. Where Coles split time evenly with the other vocalists on last year's Hovercraft 7", he sings lead on the lion's share of tracks here, and seems to exhibit a considerably larger Bruce influence (musically, it's definitely here too); despite the influx of Boss vibes on Americana-sounding punk acts the last few years, Used Kids integrate it in a refreshing and unbelievably fun way.
This makes for upbeat, up-tempo fare like the buoyant, energetic "An Honorable Man" and the reprise on the band's catchiest song in their catalogue, the aforementioned "Midwest Midsummer." "Look Out for the Cops" kinda sounds like the Hold Steady covering the Band with a Red Bull or two in their system. "I Miss My Records" has a narrative nostalgic tinge as Coles laments having to sell his beloved LPs ("all my SST and Twin/Tone / Boss, Petty, Cash and all my Ramones"), as the song carries a little southern twang along.
Coles steps back for a few songs, though, letting Kate Cleaver handle the shoulder-shrugging pair "Doomed to Be Alone" and "Second Choice"; the former is definitely another of Yeah No's more hooky jams. Danny Kay does the more plaintive "I Know You're Mine."
While Yeah No lulls in spots, it's an enjoyable and mostly linear listen, and probably the most musically joyful and fun album I've heard this year. What little time Used Kids spent together yielded fond goods.
An Honorable Man
Doomed to Be Alone
I Know You're Mine
Standing at a Bus Stop, Waiting for the Train