Rozwell Kid takes me back to the mid-nineties and geek rock’s golden age of Weezer, Nada Surf, and Superdrag. Only twenty seconds into the album, the band displays the pitch-perfect falsetto “ooo”s so commonly associated with Weezer. Then the opener “Wendy’s Trash Can” takes off, turning into a driving seventies-style power-punk song, though few would mistake Rozwell Kid for a punk band by the end of the album, for what that’s worth; “Wendy’s Trash Can” is one of three songs out of twelve that might be fast enough to be considered “punk”.
“South By” is a fifty-five-second mostly-instrumental (at least word-less) ethereal interlude, and leads into “UHF On DVD” – a reference to the obscure 1989 Weird Al movie, I’m pretty sure – for which a lyric video has been released. “UHF On DVD” is one of the other “fast” songs on Precious Art, and is singer Jordan Hudkins’s humorous take on anxiety and insecurity. The synthesizer, a staple of geek rock, is featured prominently in this track, as are other charateristics made popular by Rivers Cuomo’s band: the aforementioned falsetto singing, as well as a tight dual guitar solo in “Total Mess”, and just as Weezer famously sang “I can’t help my boogies, they get out of control,” so too does Rozwell Kid have a song called “Booger” that begins “I had a finger deep inside my nose; I was digging through a lonely sea.”
Precious Art is Rozwell Kid’s SideOneDummy debut but amazingly the band’s fourth full-length album, even though I’m just now diving into their catalog. Am I that out of touch? Probably. Either way, free music I may not have heard of otherwise in conjunction with a writing assignment is one of the perks of writing reviews for a publication like Dying Scene. And, sorry Mountaineers, but I just don’t expect a burgeoning rock and roll scene hailing from the hills of West Virginia. What’s next, a prominent punk band from Wyoming?
While comparisons to Weezer abound, and justifiably, it took me a bit longer to pin down whose voice singer Jordan Hundkins reminded me of. Finally I landed on sixties band Lovin’ Spoonful, best known for “Do You Believe in Magic”. Once I drew this comparison, I dare say that at times Rozwell Kid has more in common with the sixties than the nineties, even if I’d already pinned them to the seventies earlier in this review. Clearly this band is not influenced by a single decade. They tour relentlessly, and have released four full-length album in six years, so there will surely be more to come from Rozwell Kid.