In 2006, Tooth & Nail punk band Side Walk Slam, with the addition of a new bandmate, started a new band called Run Kid Run. While the guys still played local gigs as Side Walk Slam, their focus and attention went to Run Kid Run, the more poppy and radio-friendly of the two. After their debut album This Is Who We Are, along with several national tours and an increasing popularity, the band is offering up their sophomore RKR release, Love At The Core.
The first few seconds alone of the opening track "Rescue Me" almost define the album. The feel is like that of labelmates FM Static and Hawk Nelson. And there are plenty of "whoa-oh"'s and nasally vocals throughout the record. But don't worry, there's good news too. Though the words "mature" and "pop/punk" don't always seem to go together, Run Kid Run has definitely matured a little from their debut. Not a ton of maturity, but this new collection of songs seem to be more well-crafted. It's hard to put the finger on what exactly it is that stands out this way, but a thorough listen-through should make that apparent. More good news comes in the lyrical department. Though This Is Who We Are wasn't the most spiritually outspoken album to ever hit the shelves, there certainly were lyrics reflecting on God's goodness and love. Love At The Core follows suit with no less spirituality than before. Take for instance the chorus of "Fall Into The Light," "Let go, let yourself fall into the light, you need to learn to let go and let the old die." And in the fade-out of the Ben Folds-esque "My Sweet Escape," vocalist David Josiah Curtis sings plenty of hallelujahs and declares, "Lord, You're my King." It's rather refreshing, as a lot of younger kids are into bubble gum pop/punk bands like The Jonas Brothers and powerpop acts like PureNRG, and when their musical taste matures, they have lyrically sound bands on which to rely.
When it comes to the genre of modern pop/punk, you can find some of the best in Run Kid Run. Fans that got ahold of This Is Who We Are would agree with that, and they will be very satisfied to know that Love At The Core didn't take the band down any notches. In all honesty, there's still a lot of room for growth, as can be said for plenty of other bands just as well, but if Run Kid Run goes anywhere from here, it will only be up. And Love At The Core is a great example.- Review date: 04/27/08, written by Scott Fryberger
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