Rozwell Kid - Too Shabby (Cover Artwork)

Rozwell Kid

Too Shabby (2014)

Broken World Media

“Simpsons season 3 and a thing of hummus” are the first lyrics heard on Rozwell Kid’s self-described “slacker/indie power-pop” record, Too Shabby. The line directly supports the slacker theme -- being too “whatever, man” to even go as far to say that hummus comes in a tub. Too Shabby is Rozwell Kid’s third record, and after releasing it via Connecticut’s Broken World Media during a full U.S. tour with The World Is A Beautiful Place And I Am No Longer Afraid To Die, it’s their most buzzed-about album yet.

Unlike many related bands, Rozwell Kid’s lyrics are void of all that is earnest and personal. Even when songwriter Jordan Hudkins is trying to make a serious point, he does so through ironic metaphors and similes. It’s a true contrast, because their instrumentation is something they take very seriously. Though the lack of conviction in their lyrics may turn some listeners off, I must say, I’m impressed by how well they do it; they embrace it tongue-in-cheek and focus on writing compelling, guitar-driven power pop.

Opener “Kangaroo Pocket” sets the mood for the entire album with a dynamic intro that starts with soft bass chords that explode into a guitar hook, and it’s just as memorable as the song’s chorus. The use of guitar-hooks is repeated throughout this whole record, and is the strongest part of this band’s writing. It’s all about the guitars, and they like it that way. Make no mistake, though; the drums are tastefully busy when it calls to show off, and the bass is anything but sticking to the root notes. Like a true power-pop band in 2015, they wear their Weezer influence with pride (I swear the beginning of “Weirdo” is borrowed from the end of “Buddy Holly.”)

“Weirdo” is fitting because this band, as a whole, is weird. I think it’s refreshing that a band can be both weird in an original way, and still stand out as good in a time when being weird is so trendy. How weird, you ask? Weird as in the song “Armadillo," which is about someone running one over, and hearing the perspective of the Armadillo and the driver that did it.

As a whole, this record certainly has highs and lows. Some songs are boring, and some won’t leave my head for days. The most important thing that I took away from this record is that the highs are REALLY high, and the lows aren’t all that low. It’s for people who don’t take themselves very seriously, and can get into something without too much investment.