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The Kickz | Activate Me | review | punk | Lollipop

The Kickz

Activate Me (Pelado)
by Ewan Wadharmi

There really hasn't been a lot of this brisk, light-hearted brand of punk around for a while, so a lot of the references are going to demand a little research on the part of the curious. There's no crunch, sleaze, or snottiness, instead, a vaguely '80s feel permeates the tunes, as the guitars jangle over dancy beats. On "No Fun," they actually liberate a guitar riff nearly verbatim from Classic Nouvaux's new wave ditty "Guilty" (see, I told you it would be obscure). The Kickz, who share a penchant for misspelled hair-metal monikers with labelmates The Thingz, are not angry or malevolent in any way. They are, in fact, hyperactive kids who can't keep themselves from twitching and squirming. They pass this along to anyone who cares to listen, with toe-tapping, rump-shaking, pogo-jumping energy. The vocals are a little fey on the dub-infused "Here Today," and the guitars get some twin-tone whining out on "Cold Last Night," but thanks mostly to the precise, stellar drumming, Activate Me comes out ahead.

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