Pop-punk and its various mutations will have to reach saturation point within the next few years. The rise and rise of bands such as Four Year Strong, The Wonder Years and the like, means that there is a growing number of new bands throwing their hats into the ring. Some are pure and simple sound-a-likes that are all take while putting little back in; and others take the safe formula and add their own spin. Connecticut’s Kid Icarus, thankfully fall into the latter group. Their self-titled, self-released debut EP is full of punk-infused post-hardcore, which displays limitless potential.
‘It’s On Me’, the EP’s opening track, is an odd one. At face value the track is a solid three minutes of pop-punk; think Four Year Strong minus the synth and with the addition of Gabe Saporta on vocals. The guitar interplay would fit perfectly on ‘Rise Or Die Trying’, add that to the ridiculously catchy chorus, and well placed gang vocals, and its poppunk perfection. As good a pop-punk song as ‘It’s On Me’ is, it doesn’t really fit with the other songs on the disc, nor does it summarise the band’s sound.
‘Down And Out’ is a bit of a non-entity as far as tracks go. It’s largely forgettable, although we do hear elements of the band at their best, as they lean towards something more like a Crime In Stereo sound. It’s when third track ‘Monster’ is at its peak that you feel that the band are creating the sound that suits them best. ‘Monster’ is still full of intricate guitar work and even features more gang vocals, but the overall feel of the song is far similar to the post-hardcore of the mid naughties than the pop-punk of the opening track. ‘Monster’ is a storming track, rivalled only by the intensity of closer, ‘Firework’. It starts with the heaviest riff on the whole EP, rapidly progressing into light-speed drumming, yet it maintains a sense of the epic throughout. It proves to be the best possible close to the EP, showing the band at their best.
‘Kids Icarus EP' can be considered a triumph. It is still some way from being the finished article, but with a new 7” just around the corner and a freshly inked deal with Creator-Destructor Records, the polish will come in time. When Kids Icarus eventually settle on a sound, everyone will know about it.
'Kids Icarus' EP by Kids Icarus is available now on Bandcamp.
Kids Icarus on MySpace and Facebook.