ALBUM REVIEW: “Traphouse Rock” by Kids These Days
Kids These Days
In today’s age of instant music sharing, kids enjoy everything from old Miles Davis records to new Chief Keef videos on Youtube. A seven-piece band including a horn section, female vocalist, and rapper, Chicago group, Kids These Days, embodies the modern listener who is hip on all that is dope, refusing to be pigeon-holed into a single
Starting out by jamming together in a basement, most members possess formal jazz training, which they blend with personal tastes for hip-hop, rock, blues, funk, and soul. On their debut album, Traphouse Rock, Kids These Days show off an ability to groove all over the place with an eclectic collection of songs including a few produced by Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy. A guitar solo over a jazzy piano rips open the record and establishes the band’s bluesy rock backbone. After an appropriate skit of a radio changing through random stations, the gritty lyrics and delivery of MC Vic Mensa shine on “Don’t Harsh My Mellow,” a banging track about student protests in Chicago that shows the potential of Kids These Days to create a unique lane in music somewhere between rap and rock. The weed anthem “Bud Billiken” is another standout with a booming chorus over big-band horns that can be dug by both fans of Kid Cudi and Earth, Wind & Fire. The influence of The Roots is obvious, especially on the seductive track, “Who Do U Love?” — yet this group of Chicago youngsters is clearly trying to do something different. Kids These Days are talented musicians who enjoy being young and creating a new sound that mixes musical styles from past and present.