The Kidcrash - New Ruins (Cover Artwork)

The Kidcrash

New Ruins (2004)


As MTV and the corporate nature of major labels have been subjugating underground genres with cookie-cutter bands that appeal to the masses, it is refreshing to see bands who play a style that both heralds to classic bands and envelops ingenuity and technical skill. Olympia, WA's the Kidcrash successfully manage to do both on 2004's New Ruins.

New Ruins, recorded by Ed Rose (the Appleseed Cast, Coalesce, the Get Up Kids, the Casket Lottery) is a technical-based emo album that blends influences across the board and provides tremendous replay value. The songwriting is impeccable, the guitars shimmer and sparkle and bounce off each other in perfect rhythm. The beats throughout the album are mathy and never follow a typical 1-2 structure. "Your Valley Is Our Volcano" and "Until The Light Kills The Film" are both energetic and inventive songs that lead off the album, rich with arpeggiated guitars, innovative drum fills, thoughtful lyrics, and intricately melodic basswork. A blend of American Football, Braid, and Minus The Bear is the best comparison I can make. Most of the nine songs on New Ruins are mid-tempo paced and structured similarly. "The Afterburn Of Being Born" slows things down nicely, and the epic "The Drowning Swans Song," the best song on New Ruins, closes the album in an aura of emotional and technical brilliance.

The one beef I had with New Ruins is the ultra-clean feeling of the production, Ed Rose makes every aspect of the record sound thick and full, sometimes overly so. The otherwise excellent and busy drumwork is really slick and clean. I would have preferred a slight snap to the snare and a touch more distortion on the guitars. However, the production at worst could sheen a little less, and at best showcases the technical skill of each musician.

New Ruins is an album brimming with virtuosity, heart, and ingenuity. Fans of American Football, Braid, Mineral, Minus The Bear, and the Casket Lottery will especially enjoy this exceptional album.