ATP! Album Review: We Are The In Crowd - Weird Kids
Having heard a sneak preview of the LP already with ‘The Best Thing (That Never Happened)’ you’d be forgiven for thinking that WATIC had perhaps peaked and used up all their ammo by putting out the best song too soon. On the contrary – whilst it’s certainly a stand out track, with its playful, punchy, kick-ass vibe, it’s unable to totally define the versatility of the 10 track offering. Rather, the record’s second song serves as an epitome for what the five piece’s latest studio record Weird Kids actually stands for, and not, necessarily, what it sounds like.
Opener ‘Long Live The Kids’ is somewhat of a build up of what’s to come. Starting slow and sombre, but still soaring in its own right, frontwoman Taylor Jardine’s vocals signify strength and power in spite of a melodic calm. Then BOOM! The guitars and drums pick up properly and we’re thrown back into the pop-rock that we know and love.
The trademark ‘call and response’ style between Jardine and Jordan Eckes has not been forgotten, rife in all its glory in ‘Manners.’ Conversing through lyrics and harmonies, Weird Kids does not disappoint in this respect. ‘Come Back Home’ is another musical discussion, a lilting and harmonious effort which gives Eckes his chance to shine. Although somewhat reminiscent lyrically of old favorite ‘Both Sides Of The Story,’ this disagreement comes across somewhat calmer and with more resolve than bitchiness in its considerations about growing up and moving on.
For a band predominantly in their twenties, it’s understandable that there is a lot of emphasis on nostalgia, memories, and dreaming of the future. It’s a sort of celebratory lyrical story common to many bands of this generation; so fortunate in their endeavors. Arguably an improvement on the over-indulgence in pessimism of bands from years gone by, WATIC, like so many others, are bringing messages of positivity to the table. Yet their tales of growing up don’t isolate those of the younger generation by assuming a maturity beyond their years; the lyrics to ‘Attention’ about mutual solidarity in being Weird Kids makes sure of that.
Despite an otherwise ridiculously catchy offering, WATIC are not afraid to display an element of vulnerability, to remind us that, although they’ve pretty much crossed into ‘teen idol’ territory, they are of course human after all. ‘Windows In Heaven’ ought to resonate with anyone who’s ever lost anyone. Whether you take and atheist or religious perspective, there’s something hauntingly beautiful about the questions the band pose, and the symbolism invoked.
It’s a fact of the digital age that a physical presence and tons of shows are becoming the most important part of the industry, and there’s no doubting that WATIC have these factors in abundance. With that in mind, it would have been so easy to just ride the hype and push out something mediocre that kids would have bought anyway. But, in a breath of fresh air, they have instead put out an album packed with punch, power, and promise. The result is honestly refreshing and fun, and from the synths to the lyrics (so damn catchy!), to inevitable bursts of gang vocals (everyone loves gang vocals, right?), it really is worth a listen.
Claire Louise Sheridan
Weird Kids will be released on February 18th via Hopeless Records.