Stickup Kid - The Sincerest Form of Flattery (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Stickup Kid

The Sincerest Form of Flattery (2011)

Better Days

Stickup Kid? Like, "Stickup kids, corrupt cops and crack rocks and stray shots, all on a block that stays hot"? I think the answer to that question is simply, "No."

Instead, Stickup Kid reminds me more of just a stick kid. Like a stick figure. Or just a stick. Like Stick Stickly. Something light and entertaining, with more levity than gravity but perhaps a lesson built in somewhere. I mean, with song titles like "You're Killing Me, Smalls" and "See! Even Billy Idol Gets It", the outwardly jocular nature is easily evident, while the actual lyrical themes and overtones are more varied.

Perhaps they just chose their name for its close proximity to Slick Shoes. Stickup Kid's brand of emotional California skatepunk, powered by melodic/melodramatic vocals, seems–if not influenced–at least a continuation of the former's musical niche.

Aside from the slightly screamo of "Oceanwalker", they pull off said "continuation" remarkably well. Songs like "Powerbomb Compliments of Captain Insano" smack of early 2000s pop-punk, while "Born in the Vault, Die in the Vault" brings to mind some of the more sincere Drive-Thru acts of yesteryear, like Day at the Fair or a more aggressive Halifax. The songs are tight, concise, and demonstrate capable musicianship and songwriting, while the seemingly big-budget production puts a nice gloss on the band's audible abilities.

Stickup Kid feels like kind of an anachronism. They're playing great music that could have been big 10 years ago, but it's still enjoyable nonetheless, and hopefully The Sincerest Form of Flattery can help them prove that good music is good no matter when it comes out.