Are You Nervous?
Whenever you read anything about Rock Kills Kid, you read how lead song writer, James Tucker, was saved by writing songs.That he didn’t dream to be a rock star, it just happened while he was a sad, lonely, depressed adolescent and then pushed forward once he began living illegally in a recording studio. All very touching in some ways, but at the same time, complete bull shit to make a good selling bio and something for all the critics to talk about. Because the truth is, when you listen to either Are You Nervous? or their self-titled EP from over 3 years ago, you can’t help but feel that everything he does was to become a gigantic rock star, and he then became depressed because that dream failed him.
Take a look at the four song EP, it was released on a burgeoning independent record label playing a nice sound of emo and pop-punk. There were a few gems, like Miracle and Immanuel, and the EP was relatively well received. How could it not considering its placement amongst the ever growing emo/punk scene. Still, they didn’t break it big (its hard to with only an EP to their names).So Tucker, being the strong man that he is, refused to tour – which is the one thing any artist in their right mind knows they need to do to promote themselves. But no, he didn’t. He gave up, when into hiding, writing new songs and emerged a few years later with a new album, Are You Nervous?, on a major label and with a brand new sound.
The sound on the new full length is remarkably different than that of the EP, and yet, decisively familiar because once again, Tucker has attempted to cash in on a new trend. Sadly though, this try may succeed since he broke into it soon enough. The ten track album swims with songs of indie rock molding with the new wave revival,making for one incredibly annoying, but slightly catchy album. The more you listen to it, the more the songs stand out, but whether that’s a good thing or not remains to be seen. While on the first few listens the only two remarkable tracks are the single, Paralyzed, thanks to it’s instant recognition and the annoying but abnormally catchy and mellow Life Is A Bitch; the more times you play the album, you start to pick out more memorable moments – like Run Like Hell or Don’t Want To Stay. But even though the songs are becoming less of a drone, they’re still not aching to be heard either. It’s like an unnatural mix of Hot Hot Heat, Action Action and The Vines/Stokes indie rock sound; and it just doesn’t work.
Yes, there are a few decent songs on Are You Nervous?, but it still remains bland, repetitive and boring after a few listens. You just can’t help but feel like Tucker is trying to cash in on both the indie rock and the new wave revival trends – and it’ll be curious to see if once this album bombs, whether he’ll refuse to tour again or not.