Frequently undermined by superficial glitz and marketing gimmicks, today’s rock acts have lost sight of the real, visceral feeling that first inspired rock ‘n’ roll. Kids in the Way represents a new generation of artists whose desire is to re-establish the integrity of rock. The band makes great strides toward this goal on its sophomore Flicker Records release, Apparitions of Melody.
Initially formed by lead vocalist David Pelsue, guitarist Nathan Ehman and drummer Eric Carter in 1997, the band originated under a different name and focus. With the addition of Austin Cobb and original bassist Nathan Hughes, who has since left the group, Kids in the Way was born. During these early days, Kids in the Way released a successful, self-titled EP that helped land the band artist management and bigger shows, including a guest performance slot with Audio Adrenaline, who eventually signed the act to Flicker Records.
The Hoosier State rockers soon dropped its debut album, Safe From the Losing Fight, which earned Kids in the Way three Top 5 rock songs: “Phoenix With a Heartache,” “Hallelujah” and “We Are.” The record also won Kids in the Way tour opportunities with groups like Audio Adrenaline, Relient K, Skillet and Pillar. While its rookie project helped build a solid foundation, Apparitions of Melody will blow the doors off.
In keeping with the group’s brilliant rock sound, Apparitions of Melody pushes harder, deeper and darker into what rock ‘n’ roll and real life are all about. There’s no posturing, over-thinking or predictable clichés on this record. Co-produced by Sam Shifley and Nathan Dantzler, Apparitions simply mixes edgy guitars, frantic energy, and engaging lyrics to create a soundtrack for modern living.
“The album is a lot deeper,” says Pelsue with confidence. “In many ways, it’s similar to what we’ve written before, but the lyrical content and musicianship are much stronger. We tapped into something more intense this time around. It just has a certain vibe.”
Several songs on Apparitions of Melody deal with relationship issues, and the band writes in a universal way that appeals to our common humanity. “This Could Be the Song That Changes Your Heart” bleeds sorrow, while “Blind Behind the Wheel” reflects on the 20/20 hindsight that can be so frustrating after making a mistake. There’s also the pain-strewn “Breaking the Legs of Sheep,” the rocket-inspired “Burt Rutan,” and a quirky cover of Tears For Fears’ “Head Over Heels.” Even still, it’s the title track that will rip your stereo speakers wide open.
Featuring quick-paced guitars and a tense, urgent delivery, the title track’s sound reflects a philosophical struggle conveyed in its lyrics. “This song simply implies that someday the music will die,” muses Pelsue. “Music is an ever-changing, ever-growing thing that people use up and go through like clothing. As a band we are very aware of and accept that reality. It is our hope and desire, however, that long after the music fades from your head, its spirit will live on in you forever.”
In contrast, the album’s darker imagery might be tough to fade from memory, which makes it all the more striking. For example, “Last Day of 1888” references the infamous Jack the Ripper slayings. “I wrote that song immediately after the first record came out,” says Pelsue. “We were on a very mainstream tour, and people were looking at us somewhat critically. I wanted to write a song about being misjudged, and I remembered the story of this man who was incorrectly identified as Jack the Ripper . Eventually, he was driven to suicide because of false accusations. I thought that was a pretty bold example of misjudgment.”
Apparitions of Melody captures a real life vibe that's both tangible and sincere. Unhindered by any pretentiousness or predictability, Kids in the Way demonstrates considerable growth and presents new songs that bond with everyone wiling to let the energy take them higher. Rock music will still have its glitz and gimmickry, but these Kids have its heart, and they wear it on their sleeves with Apparitions of Melody.
Source: Flicker Records