Since 2011, Rozwell Kid have flown the flag for earnest power-punk, guided by frontman Jordan Hudkins and the tuneful fuzz-pop stylings of early Weezer and Dinosaur Jr. ‘Precious Art’ is the fourth full-length instalment in a career that although yet to take full flight, has captured the hearts of a solid loyal fanbase and proven Hudkins to be a highly capable indie rock songsmith. Originally drummer with fellow West Virginian’s The Demon Beat, he appears to have found his true calling behind a guitar and a microphone.
Oversized power chords double up to match layers of Hudkins’ gently straining voice, giving Rozwell Kid’s sound a classic, uncompromising feel. The ragged simplicity grants the album a one-take feel that gives its title a perhaps knowing irony – or maybe a reminder that this imperfection is the essence of rock as an art form.
‘Precious Art’’s main flaw is its meandering slow songs. ‘Boomerang’, ‘UHF On DVD’ and ‘Wendy’s Trash Can’ are simply hoots – riotous thrill rides fuelled by heaps of overdriven riffing, electrifying ‘oooh’s and brilliant melodies. Such bangers have the potential to make this a remarkably fun listen – the problem being, there is but a handful of them.
It is difficult to connect with ‘Booger’ on any level deeper than deciding it can’t really be about bogeys, realising it is, and skipping the track. ‘MadTV’ induces boredom similar to that which it describes, plodding along without real conviction. It could learn a few things from ‘Futon’, a stand-out moment featuring triumphantly straightforward chorus to riff build.
‘Precious Art’ is everything it needs to be, and although dampened by filler, is a more than worthy indie effort. Jordan Hudkins has the ability to turn Rozwell Kid into a highly competitive outfit, an achievement made all the more laudable considering that this was a side-project only a few years ago. An undeniably commendable collection of wholesome rock songs.
‘Precious Art’ by Rozwell Kid is out now on SideOneDummy.
Words by Peter Stewart (@PeteStew_)