Jasper Goes Punk Rock with Kid Anthem

So, if there is anything Jasper gets more disappointed about than people ragging on Columbia’s art and music scene, it’s when he himself misses something great about it. Case in point is the local punk rock band Kid Anthem’s debut EP, which was released back in October of last year. It’s possible he even heard about the band, but had a unfair knee-jerk reaction against a genre that seems fraught with easy musical crutches of speed and shouting, with an emphasis on sloppiness over tunes.

This was totally not the case with Kid Anthem. Featuring a slate of experienced scene member and a modus operandi that leans more towards anthemic than anarchic, Kid Anthem cherry picks from the best of the punk and alt. rock tradition. Jasper hears echoes of Bad Brains, Social Distortion, Bad Religion, Superchunk, and lots of other bands that we don’t know enough about to name check. Big guitars and propulsive drumming dominate these songs courtesy of Eric McCord (Pop 39)and Chris Shirah (Burns Out Bright, Ye Mighty!) respectively, but there are also some surprisingly wicked bass lines weaving in and out of these songs (played by Thank God drummer Troy Thames) too. Throw in some dedicated background vocals giving the group a touch of Phil Specter pop, and it becomes clear that this is a group taking the term “power trio” seriously.

Even after a couple of listens, Jasper was amazed at the way the group seems to even-handily divide time between big choruses and hooks with moments where the band opens up some space and plays with one  another.   Some people are always going to be a little turned off by punk rock. But if you have an open mind and want to hear a band right here in town taking the musicality of punk rock quite seriously, check out the EP here. It’s free!

-- Kyle Petersen