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Blake Solomon 06/04/09 04:51 PM

A Loss For Words - The Kids Can't Lose
 
A Loss For WordsThe Kids Can’t Lose
Record Label: Unsigned
Release Date: May 12, 2009


Some of the worst tornadoes come out of the blue. Literally. Calm, blue skies are overtaken by death-bringing whirlwinds with little to no warning. It’s these times when schoolchildren find out what happens when you fly over the swing set: sobering death. Farmers haplessly tilling their fields find no magical baseball fields. Instead they are catapulted to the Great Big Baseball Field in the Sky. These moments of misplaced ignorance, while excessively morbid, are perfectly parallel to the sort of mind games A Loss For Words create on their debut full-length The Kids Can’t Lose. Despite fast, summery tempos and wailing choruses, AL4W sneak in some of the most depressing lyrics this side of It Won't Snow Where You're Going. Apparently, Matty Arsenault has been wronged. Not enough to change any of his band’s musical tendencies, but just enough to beat us over the head with lines like, “How the tables turn / You’re the cause of this cancer.” Oof.

The Kids Can’t Lose would be enjoyable without its overly trite lyrics, right? Well hold on there, sport. (I’m good with nicknames!) Following the all too familiar path of pop(ular)-punk, AL4W don’t do a single, solitary, minuscule thing creative or different on this album. It’s even more derivative than my sad life. And that’s saying something! As the feedback clears on opener “Stamp Of Approval,” although “Stamp” may be interchanged at will with each of The Kids Can’t Lose’s 11 songs, we hear lyrics about everyone’s favorite state (California, duh!) and a bridge with some screaming that leads into a “Holy Crap that’s predictable!” climax. Let’s put it this way, in terms of redundancy, the song is two minutes longer than necessary. This moves into “40 Thieves,” named for the 40 riffs they stole from Set Your Goals. (Ed. Note: Oh snap! Can you say that? Shouldn't I, the venerable editor, know the rules for this sort of thing?)

And then there are 9 more songs. Oh wait, there is black sheep “Mt. Saint Joseph,” an acoustic ballad used to, I guess, break up the album. Here we get a direct injection of Arsenault’s angst and I find myself longing for the energetic guitars of Marc Dangora and (awesomely named) Nevada Smith. As I said, they are a fairly interesting buffer between my ears and the broken heart mantras of Arsenault (see: “It was too damn hard to watch / As heaven and hell held you down like anchors / And your demons finally lulled you back to sleep.”) The slow, stagnant nature of this song just plain hurts.

Just so you understand my accreditation: I have a full, grisly beard. Wasn’t this genre created just for me? If I can’t even enjoy the gang vocals or inspirational(?) nature of these songs, who can? (Don’t answer that, a**holes.) Sorry, A Loss For Words, The Kids Can't Lose is completely underwhelming.


(Sorta) Recommended If You Like: Set Your Goals, Man Overboard, being a grump, Four Year Strong, Senile Old Men, lots of other bands


Afterthoughts & TVwww.myspace.com/alossforwords

zubinmoosa 06/04/09 04:57 PM

I don't really agree with this...

blebbio 06/04/09 05:12 PM

I disagree too. I thought this was pretty good.

hockeyguitar99 06/04/09 05:57 PM

Great review Blake.

The Summer Ends 06/04/09 06:05 PM

You can't expect much from a product of Mizzou. Terrible review.

This album is great.

poi 06/04/09 06:44 PM

great review. i laughed at the 40 riffs stolen from set your goals line.

Heart-A-Tact 06/04/09 07:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HtLandATL (Post 44640332)
You can't expect much from a product of Mizzou. Terrible review.

This album is great.


Oh, obviously.

The Summer Ends 06/04/09 07:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Heart-A-Tact (Post 44645942)
Oh, obviously.

I go to KU, so I was just being a jerk for comical reasons.

Blake Solomon 06/04/09 07:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HtLandATL (Post 44640332)
You can't expect much from a product of Mizzou. Terrible review.

This album is great.

I can't even read what I wrote because my school sucks!! Thank god I graduated with a degree in Play-Doh engineering!

The Summer Ends 06/04/09 08:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Blake Solomon (Post 44647172)
I can't even read what I wrote because my school sucks!! Thank god I graduated with a degree in Play-Doh engineering!

Hahahahaha

In 100% sincerity though, congrats on graduating.

macabre 06/04/09 08:08 PM

These guys were really cool when they come through and they put on an energetic live show. However, I expected a lot more from this record. It seemed a bit safe for them and I didn't like how it was marketed toward a high school audience.

iTransylvanian 06/04/09 09:10 PM

Totally disagree.

Bruycker 06/04/09 09:20 PM

that was a bloody honest review haha. And I can't disagree

hiya 06/04/09 09:48 PM

at least your honest, and kind of funny, although I can't believe you liked the NSN ep 2 times better than this. imo AL4W put out a pretty solid album, might not be your cup of tea, but no need to rip on it so much.

Tribute2Ben89 06/04/09 10:32 PM

I have been listening to this album pretty regularly. It may not offer a whole lot of new things, but I think they outdo most pop punk bands with this album. I'm also a fan of the acoustic EP.