The Sidekicks “Runner In The Nerved World”
It’s always somewhat heart-warming when you comes across a band which are essentially just a group of guys who grew up together with a love of music. Having been around since 2006 the Sidekicks and have been delivering their love of punk rock to a growing army of fans. On this album they have grown up and have been confident enough to add some maturity to their sound.
That’s perhaps evident straight away with the slow and gentle intro we get on “Hell Is Warm”, a song which is a more restrained punk rock number. As with the next track, “Everything In Twos” there is a clear sense of a band that have an ear for a melody. It would be easy to just describe songs like, the brilliantly titled, “Jesus Christ Supermalls” as pop punk but that would be doing them a disservice. This isn’t throwaway pop songs played by a punk band. Instead it’s passionate and articulate music played with a sense of melody.
The opening to “The Kid Who Broke His Wrist” and the more mid paced “Satellite Words and Me” display an almost Beach Boys feel, which is very rare for this type of band. Songs like “Pet” and “Deer” have a more fragile feel which makes them very different to most modern punk bands.
That’s not to say that the band are afraid to rock out. “Blissfield, MI” is a more up-tempo and angular song. Whilst, “Summer Brings You Close To Satan” and “Century Schoolbook Grown Ups” are really just great pop punk songs. Tracks like there and “Spinning Seat” are bound to appeal to fans of bands like The Menzingers or The Restorations.
There is always a danger that bands will get pigeon holed by association with a genre. This is certainly true when the term “punk pop” is tagged to a band. That phrase is used to describe bands which are actually very diverse and different. Sure the Sidekicks have a (US) punk rock feel and there is a passion to the music which back in the day could even have been lumped in with Emo. There is, however, also the sense of a band that are looking to do something different. Any reference to ‘pop’ here is more likely to come from a classic pop band ranging from The Beach boys to The Cure.