Pool Kids - Music to Practice Safe Sex to - - Soundblab

Pool Kids - Music to Practice Safe Sex to

by Bill Golembeski Rating:8 Release Date:2019-03-01
Pool Kids - Music to Practice Safe Sex To
Pool Kids - Music to Practice Safe Sex To

With the name Pool Kids, I expected this to one-up (or one-down) the Adverts One Chord Wonder ethos and make music with, perhaps, a half-hearted attempt at a C chord, without any consideration as to a time signature.

But I was wrong: This is sophisticated rock music with Christine Goodwyne, a great female vocalist; Caden Clinton, a magical drummer who plays clever bits all the time; Alex Mayweather, a guitarist who ranges freely (with brilliance) all over the place; Nicolette Alvarez, a bass player who throbs a deep anchor; and songs that stun with enough tempo changes to catch the attention of the one or two Gentle Giant prog fans who still sing the convoluted melodies of “Freehand” and “So Sincere” in the shower.

And, of course, if pressed for confessional truth; yeah, bless me father for I have sinned. I love that stuff.

So, that’s saying quite a bit about this record. It certainly isn’t prog rock. But it is clever music. The first song, “Overly Verbose Email Series Pt III” (which does sound like a tune from a Canterbury prog Hatfield and the North album), starts with the simple beauty of a gliding voice and guitar. The drums push the pace. And seconds later, the song explodes with the propulsion of a great bass line. This is very modern rock music. It’s all rather unique in its own rock ‘n’ roll accelerating way.

“Borderline” begins with a folky “Ventura Highway” America vibe. There are lofty vocals and intricate guitar notes. But then the tune smashes into that post-rock emotive sound, only once again, to descend into a contemplative quietude of four-square beauty of deep atmospheric acoustic music. This is a wondrous song, that is, quite frankly, all over the musical map. The tune has the sophistication of Zeppelin’s “The Rain Song.”

The album continues to rock. “Eros” is tough, and its pulse pauses between beats to push the horizon of the tune. But there’s a wide expanse to this music as it slows with drama, with a Robin Trower “Bridge of Sighs” heartbeat depth. “Subtweet” is almost jazzy, and like everything else on this album, is all over the place, until it finally finds a quiet spot. “They Only Care About My Fills and Not My Feels” (another very proggy title) starts with a shout “Pop goes the weasel,” but this tune then travels the universe of melody and time changes in search of an unnecessary freehold. There is nothing at all pop about this music. It’s adventurous rock stuff.

Now, remember, I freely admit to singing Gentle Giant’s convoluted prog tunes in the shower. So, if nothing else, this music is simply interesting.  And, this is the type of album that continues to reveal its charms after many spins. Great records from way back when did that, too.

The euphoric “Five Time 2nd Place Winner” is urgent rock with a quiet pause here and there. Again, it’s almost as if the band compresses the great expanse of prog into intense rock songs. As does “It’s Only Fair,” with its tough chords and equally tough vocal; of course, the tune slows into the drama of itself. And then there is sudden and very deep beauty. This is the band’s signature.

Ahh, “Patterns” is purely acoustic, with guitar and vocals pleading the Fifth Amendment of Beauty.

The final song, “Rick’s Toy Box” is, once again, in the very midst of a wonderful guitarist’s wilderness, with such sympathetic percussion and a vocal that urges every jump over every broomstick. This song simply punches at the air, and rock ‘n’ roll music always needs to throw that punch.

This album is the real deal. It’s rock music. It has acoustic bits; it has big chords; it has deep valleys of beauty. And It has abrupt guitar lines that run the gamut of the universe. This is wide open American music, female fronted, that crosses the prairies and gambles a bit with all sorts of nuanced cards, cards that rock a bit, cards that softly sing, cards that open any frontier, and ultimately, cards that simply  manage to play a pretty great rock ‘n’ roll song that is a million melodic miles away from any one chord wonder claim to fame.

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