Kids In Glass Houses
30 September 2013
by Tomas Doyle
The career of Kids in Glass Houses has not been one of linear and constant success. While their debut full length, Smart Casual, brought them near to the forefront of a class led by You Me At Six, an ill-fated collaboration with Roadrunner Records produced two albums which failed to catapult them into the big leagues and saw them dressing like pillocks. Despite 2011’s Gold Blood being a more “grown up” affair (lyrical narrative about a dystopian future, if you please) there was a real sense that the Welsh lads are at their best when they’re knocking out fun-time, ear worm choruses. Fortunately, they seem to have decided the same and the evidence is all over Peace.
Let’s get this straight: if your favourite band are Gorguts, chances are Peace won’t really do it for you. But moaning that KIGH are a soft, pop-rock act (and this is arguably their poppiest effort yet) is like a coeliac going into a restaurant, eating all the breadsticks and then yelling that the chef made them sick. Don’t be a fucking dickhead about it. Once you’ve gotten over the fact that this is an out and out pop album though, you can fully appreciate the size of the hooks on offer here. And they really are jolly massive.
The title track is among the best things the band has ever written – stomping, sassy and catchy enough to drive you distraction. First single ‘Drive’ channels its sexual undercurrent into a dancefloor-igniting, falsetto-dominated frenzy, while ‘Set My Body Free’ infuses pulsating synthesizers and Eurovision-esque woahs to create something that would be perfectly at home on Top of the Pops (if that was still a thing). As album opening 1-2-3s go, it’s a pretty heady combination.
The overwhelming feeling from this record as a whole is that it is not the sort of album that many of KIGH’s guitar wielding peers are making right now. In fact, it barely feels like a guitar album at all, such is its chart bothering sensibility. There are some missteps though, a couple of mid-paced slogs (mostly in the album’s second half) amongst the anthemic sugar, but at only 10 tracks it is brief enough not to outstay its welcome. Sure, in comparison to its more intellectually driven predecessor Gold Blood it feels a little throwaway but sometimes you just want to put your dancing shoes on and guess what? [Whisper it!] You are allowed to; nobody’s going to judge.
Listen to ‘Black Cloud’ by Kids In Glass Houses:
There’s always something pleasing about seeing a band returning to what they do best. No silly outfits and over-elaborating, just a concise collection of good songs apt to fire you up for a friday night out. A
wise man once said that you are not better than pop music and so it has proved here – Peace won’t make it onto too many album of the year lists, but that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable in the here and now.
Sounds Like: Big songs rather than big ideas
Standout Tracks: Peace, Set My Body Free, V-I-People