By Kids In Glass Houses
Having been a huge fan of Kids In Glass Houses for a number of years, ever since the early demo's of 'Skeletons' (which later became 'Saturday') or 'Pick Flowers, Not Fights' (which later became 'Fisticuffs') through 'Epocalypse' and 'Smart Casual' and with an amazing live show to boot, the band have set my expectations incredibly high.
I had a horrible feeling that 'Dirt' was going to be a colossal disappointment, but in every sense of the word it's not. This album is huge, every song is a potential hit single and this band that seem to have been in the shadow of You Me At Six and Lostprophets in the UK scene will surely rise to their level of popularity this summer.
The album kicks off with 'Artbreaker I' the first in a two part song that opens and closes the record; it displays KIGH's heavier side on an album that features a lot more variety than 'Smart Casual' did. The band continue to play their brand of pop-rock music on a higher level than any of their contemporaries. Prime examples of this include singles 'Matters At All' and 'Youngblood (Let it Out) both loaded with enormous hooks and beautiful melodies. There are also some slower, more considered songs this time around, 'Sunshine' has a chorus that arenas were built for and 'The Morning Afterlife' serves as a soft and welcome breather towards the end.
'Lilli Rose' is a particular stand out track with its sugar sweet melodies and bouncy, breezy chorus harking back to 'Lovely Bones' from 'Smart Casual.' The production on 'Dirt' is astonishing and particularly shines on 'For Better or Hearse' with its jubilant brass, sing along refrain, finger clicks and hand claps making it a perfect soundtrack to an upcoming summer.
This review can't be written without mentioning the guest appearances of one Frankie Sandford from 'The Saturdays' and pop punk heroes 'New Found Glory.' The former provides vocals to 'Undercover Lover' and while many have claimed this could be a hit or miss song, it's definitely a hit. Aled and Frankie's vocals compliment each other very well and the song ends up sounding like a stadium filler. The latter provide some decent gang vocals to 'Maybe Tomorrow' while their appearance may be novel it's not really necessary and there's no Jordun Pundik solo singing.
On their sophomore album, Kids In Glass Houses have managed to develop a sound that makes them great while not straying too far from their roots, it's something that a lot of bands struggle to do. Full of infuriatingly catchy tunes this record has massive potential; if there's any justice this is the year the world takes notice.