Indie rock outfit Pool Kids releases their self-titled second album via Skeletal Lightning, a stylish blend of indie-rock, math rock, and art rock, which is more easily described as emo-prog.
Made up of Christine Goodwyne (vocals, guitar), Andrew Anaya (guitar), Nicolette Alvarez (bass), and Caden Clinton (drums), Pool Kids formed in 2017 and followed by releasing "Borderline," a demo, on Bandcamp. They gained national attention when Hayley Williams posted on Instagram that Pool Kids' debut album, Music To Practice Safe Sex To, was what Paramore "wished we sounded like in the early 2000s."
The album encompasses 12-tracks, beginning with "Conscious Uncoupling," opening on tick-tocking tones topped by Christine's evocative voice. Christine's vocals surge with venomous energy as the music gathers heft and then drops back down. On the surface, it's a break-up song, but on a deeper level, it's a philosophical epiphany.
"So here we are on this stupid couch again / I never wanna see you lift the corners of your mouth again / Oh, I would pay to see the look in your eye / You've got a lot of nerve to be asking me why."
Highlights include "That's Physics, Baby," a tasty, indie-rock song with glittering colours and layers of shimmering tones. Christine's angst-filled voice gives the tune residual energy. A personal favourite, "Further", travels on finessed drumming while gleaming guitars flicker overhead, followed by surges of potent guitars.
For some reason, "Comes In Waves" conjures up suggestions of gliding dream-pop as well as hints of The Cranberries and then adds pop-punk flavours. Christine shows the true melodic range of her vocals on this track, at once velvety and edgy.
"I Hope You're Right" rolls out on heavier, darker tones riding a delicious yet powerful rhythm as Christine's voice slides on dreamy, resonant timbres shadowed by beautiful breathy harmonies. "Waking Up" starts off on drifting, languid tones and then takes on viscous, glistening sonic muscle, capped by Christine's haunting vocals. Listen to Caden's drums on this track – superb.
"Arms Lengthy" rolls out on pop-punk-lite guitars, descending to luminous, twinkling tones and then moussing up to rousing layers of sound. Vaguely reminiscent of Liz Phair, Christine's vocals imbue the lyrics with ebbing and rising dynamics. "Sometimes when I can't sleep / I can feel the space I've put between / The only people I'd risk everything for / But if they'd whisper at my door / I'd probably hide under the sheets."
Wow! Pool Kids have it going on! Pool Kids goes beyond excellent and enters the realm of superlative.