There are some records that turn out to be defining statements for a generation of teens, some of these are intentional like Green Day’s ‘American Idiot’ and some are accepted as so, such as My Chemical Romance’s ‘Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge’. I suspect We Are the in Crowd’s ‘Weird Kids’ was designed to be one of these releases, which is a shame as it’s actually an album filled with painful drivel.
I understand that I am certainly not the target audience of ‘Weird Kids’, I’m on the wrong side of 18 and about a decade away from the early-teen market it is intended to entice. Sounding like a hideous blend of Paramore and Avril Lavigne, ‘Weird Kids’ is a wholly juvenile record, both in its themes and its song writing.
It opens with lighter/mobile phone waver, ‘Long Live the Kids’, an anthem to teenage struggle that sounds like it was written for Demi Lovato or some other troubled Disney alumni. Followed by single ‘Best Thing (That Never Happened)’, an irritating slice of Hit the Lights-type pop punk, that is redeemed only partially by a catchy drum beat. Two tracks in and it’s pretty clear that this is not something I ever want to hear again.
The best thing about this album is the dual vocals, which help to give a different perspective on the endless barrage of teenage girl identity anthems. However some of these have been enhanced using a hideous synth effect, rendering tracks such as ‘Come Back Home’ unlistenable. ‘Weird Kids’ is filled with cliques abound, from be yourself proclamations like “we’re all just weird kids” to overused titles like ‘Remember (To Forget You)’.
The few decent spots in the album include ‘Windows in Heaven’ a song dedicated to Jardine’s late father and ‘Reflections’ a well written track that declares “destiny is overrated, I’ll make my own”.
The problem is We Are the in Crowd are too similar to other artists, from the screechy delivery of key notes that has been lifted from Hayley Williams, to the Ashlee Simpson styled clap-along catchiness of ‘Best Thing (That Never Happened)’ which makes the line “you ain’t nothing but a prick” sound odiously twee. John Feldman has attached his name to dross in the past (Black Veil Brides, Attack! Attack! anyone?), but even his glossy production can’t hide these glaring similarities.
Cutesier than a Disney soundtrack and drowning in the glow of Hayley Williams reflected light, this is one of the most irritating albums I’ve heard in a long time. Maybe I’m just too much of an old bastard to appreciate it.
‘Weird Kids’ by We Are the in Crowd is released on 17th February Hopeless Records.
Words by Jay Sullivan