The New York five-piece return with a much more mature album that will be singing its way around your head for weeks.
It has been a long time since We Are The In Crowd have released a record – about 3 years in fact – and with all that time the fans anticipation for their next album was sure to be very high. With ‘Weird Kids’ the band have met those expectations and surpassed them significantly; in a nutshell the album shows the band member’s transformation into young adults.
Straight away from the album’s opening track ‘Long Live The Kids’, it is obvious that the band have left behind their simple pop/punky style, and are starting on the road of a much mature record which looks at serious themes. A light piano and Tay Jardine’s – the lead singer – vocals drag us into the track, and as soon as the rest of the band come in it is obvious that this is a meaningful record. As Jardine sings about looking out for yourself and living how you want to live, “Hang on, be strong, long live the kids in us all”. However, despite what the lyrics say, it sounds as though the song is about anyone, that you should choose to live your life the way you want to; Jardine’s screams of “No, no, no, nooo” in the breakdown make sure of that. It is an anthem that starts off the journey of an incredible album.
‘The Best Thing (That Never Happened)’ is definitely the biggest track on the album, it forces its way in to your ears with an aggressive guitar riff as soon as the preceding track has finished; and will keep you listening as the band show how much they have grown since their last record. With lyrics like “So toxic, you ain’t nothing but a prick”, it is easy to see that Jardine is not messing around, the song’s meaning – about basically screaming to your ex that they are the ones missing out – appears to be one close to the vocalist’s heart. It’s such a well constructed song with a sing-a-long chorus that leaves you begging for more.
As the band – completed by Jordan Eckes on guitar, Mike Ferri on bass, Cameron Hurley on guitar and Rob Chianelli on drums – have matured through their music so have their fans, as they have grown-up with them. Whereas their 2011 album ‘ Best Intentions’ was a pop-punk party album that was more of a continuation of their 2010 EP ‘Guaranteed To Disagree’, Weird Kids is definitely taking a path to finding their sound. Everything about the album shows the band’s growth, whether it be the determined-to-make-a-statement lyrics from Jardine, the hard-hitting drums by Chianelli or the grainier sounding guitar riffs by Eckes, when they put it all together, you can’t help but sing a long and feel compelled to understand the lyric’s meanings.
As the album continues, ‘Attention’ kicks in; it was the first single released from this record, and gave fans a little taster of what was to come. The track combines the band’s new style in the verses with a pop/punk catchy chorus that mirrors their work on Best Intentions; the entire song gives everything that the group have right up until the end. As soon as this song finishes and ‘Dreaming Out Loud’ comes in we are reminded of the new sound which We Are The In Crowd are putting across. The track – which is the rockiest on the album – starts off with a very raw riff, and ends with an explosive screaming of the chorus which, like many of the other songs, ends too quickly and beckons for us listen again.
There are a lot of pop/punk bands out there making a name for themselves everyday, so it is quite easy to pass them by. WATIC offer something different though, something that makes them stand out from the others; the back and forth singing of Jardine and Eckes on nearly every song. By having the lead singer and guitarist exchange lines – and the fact that they are male and female – it gives them the opportunity to sing songs from two different perspectives. Just as they did on their 2010 EP with ‘Both Sides of the Story’; both sang from either sides of a break-up.
It is really hard to actually distinguish a weak song on the album, however the two that stand out more than any others are ‘Remember (To Forget You)’ and ‘Don’t You Worry’. Not because they are bad songs, but primarily because they come across as being more suited for the band’s previous album. The very light sing-a-long pop choruses just don’t fit in with the image that they are now trying to promote.
‘Windows in heaven’ is a beautiful ballad from Jardine to her late father, and it captures the listener so well because of the lyrics which will be relatable to fans who have also lost loved ones. Through the entire song you can feel the vocalist pouring out her heart in hopes that her grandfather is proud of her, “If you could see me now, would you be pleased and proud.” I think it’s safe to say that he would be.
In the same way that their Best Intentions album ended with the powerful ‘Better Luck Next Time’, Weird Kids concludes with another catchy-hooking track – ‘Reflections’ – which will get any fan dancing around in their bedroom to. Just as the album opener screamed about living your life as you see fit, the closer touches on the topic once again, “Destiny is overrated, so I think I’ll write my own”. Jardine is giving a message to all the fans out there to write your own destiny and not live someone else’s. With that, the short album is over, and leaves you begging for more.
If this is We Are The In Crowd trying to find their sound, then I think they can stop looking. One thing is for certain, although these five kids may be weird, in the short 10-song album…they have definitely grown up.
Weird Kids is out now.
Listen to: The Best Thing (That Never Happened), Come Back Home and Dreaming Out Loud.
The full track-listing is as follows:
Long Live The Kids
The Best Thing (That Never Happened)
Come Back Home
Dreaming Out Loud
Remember (To Forget You)
Don’t You Worry
Windows In Heaven