If the words “Alex The Kid” only make you think about an old Sega game then you have some homework to do. This is also the name of a tight, punk rock band from Geraldton in WA. The group recently won the triple j One Night Stand Unearthed competition and they’ve also just released a smouldering, debut album called Speak Up.
The record includes 13 fast and furious tracks. It basically sees the boys crank it up to eleven in just seconds and play with this kind of crazed intensity until the final moments of the album. The only exceptions to this rule are at the start of Let’s Blow This Joint and It Ain’t Over where some talking parts get in-between the rawk goodness. In the case of the former, it’s all about finding fuel for the munchies because later on they’ll be putting out a call to arms and screaming, “Let’s get high! Let’s get high tonight!” – a phrase poised to be as popular with enthusiastic punters as the Ramones’ “Hey hos” in Blitzkrieg Bop.
The record features triple j favourites Vinyls and Skate or Lie. The latter is one of many songs that see the “good-looking” Ken McCartney trading vocals with the screaming, “foul-mouthed” (according to the artists’ website) banshee, Dale Barker. It’s something that is reminiscent of Joy Division’s Interzone but with a heck of a lot more bile and bite.
Alex The Kid are also one darned melodic band to listen to. Despite some dirty riffs, howling bass and the mayhem that ensues thanks to a cacophony of drums, they will occasionally keep you on your toes and add a catchy melodic line or two. A song like Tenderloins, for example, is a short, sharp thrill but they also manage to throw in some cheeky harmonica into the mix.
Speak Up is a promising debut from a group of young men who know how to rock and party. They clearly have a love/hate relationship with their small hometown because some of the songs seem to rally against it, while others seem to embrace it and just want to get the party started.
These 13 fist-pumping corkers will strike a chord with anyone who has ever wanted to jump around and mess some shit up. This is definitely a band that we should keep an eye on as they grow up and hone their talent for crafting snarling punk rock. Yeah!
Alex The Kid’s ‘Speak Up’ is out now.