is the fourth album by The Not-Its!, and it rocks just as hard as any of its predecessors. The band's commitment to each of its member's indie rock
roots shines through on KidQuake!
, as punky pop tunes navigate child-centered concerns like siblings
, trying one's hardest at games, staying active, and the uncertainty of making new friends. As an added aesthetic bonus, the album package is graced with nifty artwork and design by Grammy-nominated graphic artist Don Clark of Invisible Creature
. You might be familiar with the work of Seattle-based Invisible Creature on the Nickelodeon channel, in Nike
ads, and in Target stores everywhere.
The Not-Its! hail from Seattle
, home of several of the best kindie rock bands and musicians in the business today, including Caspar Babypants
, The Harmonica Pocket, Johnny Bregar
, Recess Monkey
, and The Board of Education
. And, like many of the better current kids' music bands, The Not-Its! have a deep musical pedigree: singer Sarah Shannon was vocalist for Sub Pop
band Velocity Girl, bassist Jennie Helman was a member of Micro Mini, and drummer Michael Welke played for Harvey Danger. The Not-Its! have now released four kindie rock albums, including 2009's We Are The Not-Its!
, Tag, You're It
in 2010, Time Out to Rock
in 2011, and 2012's KidQuake!
The Music of 'KidQuake!'
kicks off with the thunderous, rockin’ title tune, encouraging young listeners to get up and move and start a "KidQuake!" Next comes the punk pop of “Let’s Skateboard,” featuring The Not-Its! reeling off a string of skateboard
tricks (“And do a stale fish! And do a tail tuck!”). “Busy” features the horn-driven ska rock of Orange County, California (think No Doubt
), and suggests that we take a break from the non-stop string of errands and extra curricular activities and just take it easy for a while. The band then lets their listeners know “you rock” via the power chords and rolling drums of “Rock, Paper, Scissors.” “Temper Tantrum” features some choppy, anthemic power punk reminiscent of another Southern California
band, Green Day
, detailing the temperamental grumpiness of a younger brother. The lighter-waving verses of "Operation Cooperation" describe how making a new friend helps one navigate through the uncertainties of the first day of school
, leading into a chunky, cowbell-driven, positive outlook chorus.
More Music from 'KidQuake!'
A rifftastic chordfest that The Who
would be proud of will bring back memories of the arcade, as a kid goes "Full Tilt" and powers up on ice cream to rule the pinball machine with his last 50 cents. A first grader’s soccer mishaps are chronicled amongst his many other attempts at sports and activities, concluding that he did his best to get his “Participation Trophy.” Tom toms
pound as kids say goodbye to their pet spider
during a “Tarantula Funeral,” while the jangle rock of “Walk or Ride” will remind you of a more energetic 10,000 Maniacs, as kids are encouraged to use their legs to get from one place to another. “The Not-Its! Love You” is an absolutely anthemic way to bring KidQuake!
to a close, as the tune brings together the guitar
, drum, and vocal ideas The Not-Its! utilized throughout the album, punctuating the song with hand claps and ringing guitar chords.
KidQuake! continues The Not-Its!'s formula of kid-centric rock and roll, resulting in one of the best kids' music CDs of 2013. The band's consistent musical output and their camaraderie with fellow bands in the Seattle kids' music scene show that The Not-Its! are here to stay. Let's hope we hear even more from them in the future! For more information about the band and their complete tour schedule, make sure to visit the official The Not-Its! webpage.
Released February 5, 2013; Little Loopy Records
- ”Let’s Skateboard”
- ”Rock, Paper, Scissors”
- ”Temper Tantrum”
- ”Operation Cooperation”
- ”Full Tilt”
- ”Participation Trophy”
- ”Tarantula Funeral”
- ”Walk or Ride”
- ”The Not-Its! Love You”