Album Review: Rejected Kids – “A New Chapter Has Begun”

In a world where pop stars reign supreme, it isn’t hard to imagine that the members of Rejected Kids were the odd ones out in high school. After all, what’s weirder than the ability to craft good music and to *gasp* actually be able to play musical instruments? Rejected Kids have these talents in spades, and show them off on their latest effort, “A New Chapter Has Begun.”

Rejected Kids manage to combine musical influences like Slick Shoes, Autopilot Off, Rufio and New Found Glory, leading listeners to expect them to hail from California, or from a tiny American Midwestern town. You’d be wrong on both counts, as Rejected Kids are actually from Tangerang, Indonesia. In fact, most listeners probably wouldn’t realize that the band aren’t from North America until digging through the album’s liner notes to decipher song lyrics.

Sadly, like the many of the bands that Rejected Kids resemble, they manage to fall into one major trap of the style of music they play: there is little differentiation between the songs. While each individual track is well-written, cohesive and melodic and the album as a whole certainly isn’t bad, it is perhaps a little difficult to listen to in one sitting.

Where Rejected Kids manage to stand out is in the fact that the band is a cohesive unit of very competent musicians. They have a tight rhythm section, and great technical guitar work shines out on the album. To top it off, the band are singing in not just one but two different languages which, at the very least, definitely sounds neat.

The album starts off with the track “Too Early To Rise,” which has the classic hardcore instrumental opening- the ‘impending doom on your eardrums’ build up that leads into frenzied guitar work and fan headbanging. The second track has a very New Found Glory-esque chant going on in the background, while the vocals then take over much of the song. This isn’t a bad thing, as it gives rejected Kids a chance to show off what they do best.

The heavy focus of the track tends to be the instrumentation, and vocals typically to take a backseat. The track “Dystopia” sounds like it came right off a NFG b-sides album, especially with the group chanting. The lead singer’s vocals sound very Rufio-influenced, which could get grating if the vocals were much more prominent.

All in all, Rejected Kids appear to have a very good idea of their strengths and weaknesses, and know how to play to those strengths. It is a very solid effort from the band, and can definitely become the album that you can’t bear to take out of your CD player in time.

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