kids_in_glass_houses_smart_casual

‘Smart Casual’ by Kids In Glass Houses

Rating: ★★★☆☆

The debut album by Kids In Glass Houses came out in mid 2008 following the success of their EP from ’06. It opens on Fisticuffs with a punk/rock feel, similar to that from You Me At Six‘ Hold Me Down album from 2010. It is a nice song to open with, nothing special, but sets the sound for the album pretty much straight away.

What comes up next, however, is what I feel is a real ‘summer song’. Easy Tiger has a feel good feeling attached to it, grabbing you to sing along in the chorus to the harmonies that are all so addictive. The song isn’t in your face either, with most of the work being performed in your own head as you let your imagination take you for a ride.

It discretely builds up before ending suddenly, which leads nicely into the guitar that opens Give Me What I Want. For a rocks song, it is very poppy with clean cut guitars and simple lyrics that you could imagine teenage girls singing along to non-stop but despite its mainstream sound, its actually a really nice and catchy song to enjoy. It’s the same for Saturday, which follows, however this fourth song is something a little more. It has a short and sweet first chorus which breaks away from the same clear cut verses of the song before, with some slight rougher vocals.

“Consider yourself one of my best friends, consider yourself one of my enemies.
Show a little skin and make a million, bare a little soul you’ll make a million more.”

As I work my way through this album, it becomes apparent that each song is a rewrite of the one before, as Lovely Bones continues the exact same sound from that of a Saturday, Give Me What I Want and the few before. This particular song has a few nice guitar licks and new drum fills, but ultimately the album is becoming less of a collection of songs and more of a dragged out plea for votes. There’s nothing special in Shameless too, apart from the odd cowbell in the chorus – which actually, breaks down a little more than the previous numbers. It really feels like you hear one song, you’ve heard them all.

Girls comes up next, a slightly more poppy song with awfully stereotypical playing techniques int he verses that really don’t stand out. Apart from a nice chorus that is somewhat catchy, there’s not a lot that there is to like about this song, or to like more than anything else on the album as once again, it’s pretty much exactly the same as the song before.

Another rewrite appears next in Good Boys Gone Bad, in the sense that despite a promising intro, just disappears amongst the rest of the album. The same sound has got out of hand and somewhat annoying to listen to but you’ll have to wait for Pillow Talk for any sign of change. The ninth song however, Dance All Night, still carries that same repetitive sound, but at least begins to show some different direction than any of the songs before. The chorus becomes a repeat of any other, but the verses make a nice change, I guess.

Pillow Talk really is a chilled out song in comparison to anything else on offer here, being predominantly guitar and vocals with minimal drums. If performed more acoustically, would have perhaps made a better break from the main sound you hear but the clean approach is nice. The song has a soft bridge which seemed to appear from nowhere but somehow reminds me of a ‘pretty boy band’ song rather than something I’d expect from Kids In Glass Houses.

Back to reality now in Raise Hell, which could continue from Dance All Night – both with similar sounding verses and choruses and well, you could nearly get away with only changing the words. And even then the vocal melodies are pretty close too. Even in Church Tongue, the final song, things don’t change. I had expected something more exciting or more mellow, but no. The entire album, excluding Pillow Talk, has been set horribly on one level. While it is ‘nice’ to listen to, its nothing special and you certainly couldn’t listen to anymore of it.

I had been looking forward to reviewing this album for a while but after listening to it ‘properly’, it’s disappointed me. While I enjoy Easy Tiger and Saturday, the others all seem to become one song and that ruins it.

 

Artist:  Kids In Glass Houses
Release Name:  Smart Casual
Type:  Album
Date:  2008, May 26th
Purchase Link:  http://kidsinglasshouses.com/music/
Artist Info:  http://kidsinglasshouses.com

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