Often when reviewing a band they’re hearing for the first time a reviewer will make note of how they feel we’ll be seeing more of that band in the future. I very much doubt you’ll be hearing more from Kid Brother Collective, however. Whilst the album is a solid emo-rock effort, with shades of bands such as Mineral and Quicksand thrown in for good measure, Kid Brother Collective’s ‘Highway Miles’ is now ten years old and is being re-released by Count Your Lucky Stars records to mark the bands short lived reunion in 2012.
Kid Brother Collective are your quintessential local band – the Michigan based group would pack out neighbourhood shows, released a handful of likeable but slightly flawed releases, had a few attempts of touring without setting many other states alight before finally growing up and moving on. There’s nothing wrong with that however and tracks such as ‘Failure By Design’ and ‘Too Many Tomorrows’ are ballsy enough to have stood the test of time. It’s fast, melodic and there are a few hints of vocal hooks thrown in to get a packed basement show really moving.
<a href=“http://countyourluckystars.bandcamp.com/album/highway-miles” data-mce-href=“http://countyourluckystars.bandcamp.com/album/highway-miles”>Highway Miles by Kid Brother Collective</a>
So what stopped ‘Highway Miles’ from really leaving an impact on the Midwestern emo-rock scene? When the tempo slows down and the band are stripped back you aren’t left with anything of great substance in truth, no more evident than the slightly lacklustre ‘Ringfinger’. You wait for the tracks big break down but before long it’s played out without any change in focus. In fairness though the earlier ‘Light Sleeper’addresses that, finally coming to life two minutes in with an upswing that just about gets us to the end of the track. That’s the overwhelming feeling I get from the record though – it lacks moments of sheer greatness or triumph. You wait for the crowning moments or a line to really identity with and for me it never arrives.
Much like many of our favourite local bands – you get caught up in the time and place and they fit the bill perfectly, but introduce them to a new crowd that don’t have those memories of growing up in that scene and it often doesn’t work as well.
Kid Brother Collective are dead. Long live Kid Brother Collective.
‘Highway Miles’ by Kid Brother Collective is out now on Count Your Lucky Stars.
Kid Brother Collective links: Facebook
Words by Tom Beck.