If it weren’t for budget restraints I would be jumping on a plane to Johnson City, Tennessee right this moment. That’s where I could find The Kindest People and gush about their album Idle Revival. I couldn’t be happier that these guys came across my desk for review. It’s bands like this that make me feel spoiled rotten for having the position I do at Divide and Conquer. The Kindest People is at their core an indie rock band, but they summon the spirits of punk and grunge rock from time to time and it all comes together beautifully.
Idle Revival was recorded in two different garages, making this a DIY project, and this is something that blew me away. The quality of what they did for the production of their album is completely top tier and complimentary to their music. This is why I love the age we live in where you no longer need a studio to get the kind of mixing and mastering you want. The band wanted to capture the garage atmosphere and nailed it perfectly without sacrificing quality.
This album isn’t just about good vibes, although there are plenty. This album is motivational. It’s about finding a catalyst for change, crawling up from the rut. The melodic qualities to the songs are so addictive, catchy doesn’t really do what I felt justice. There were also spoken word interludes which are not sampled. These interludes were written and recorded by the band. Interesting little messages are woven into the spoken word moments. There’s a few different modes within the album. There’s the lighthearted indie rock that makes you wanna clap along and belt out the lyrics. There’s the harder, ironic punk side and there are tracks that are plainly sweet and given incredibly beautiful guitar work that just melted my heart.
While the band is a four-piece, there were lots of extra hands brought in for the album, especially to incorporate additional instruments such as the flute, mellophone, saxophone and trombone. The vocal talent of Matthew Sykes is top tier, he is never overstated and always in touch with the narrative at hand. It might help that he also contributes guitar and trumpet to the album. His guitar work is matched with the electric guitar talents of Spencer Otey. I can’t say who did what, but I could tell they were on the same page and I truly enjoyed both of them. The bass of Evan Rice was really cool and stood out for me when the songs would get a little surfy. I would like to credit Matthew Dougherty on drums for being the one who motivated me to get up and move. Another percussion element that is so key to the music and the vibe is the hand clapping which was done by Dougherty and Rice. They used these hand claps like a separate instrument which added to the addictive nature of the songs.
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