Album review: Kid Vicious ‘The Hive’

On their second studio length release ‘The Hive‘, Kid Vicious serves up a mix of the firing on all cylinders post metalcore they’re known for as well as some surprisingly unusual genre defying, comedic relief tracks.  

Like their previous release Good Girls and all the live shows I’ve seen them perform at, the most obvious influences I hear on the majority of the tracks on The Hive are post-hardcore groups At the Drive-In and the Refused in addition to early sludge metal gods Mastodon and, of course, like any good band thousands of other seamlessly integrated heavy hardcore metal and rock group sounds.  

And so on tracks 1 through 3, 5, and 7 the unrelenting screaming vocal assault that lead vocalist/frontman Pete Dolan is famous for features at the helm, despite the fact that the vocals are still mixed lower than most modern recordings — because he’s just THAT FUCKING LOUD as anyone that’s seen them live will attest to.  As usual, these tracks also feature the insanely well timed and executed crunchy riffs and breaks of lead guitarist Aaron Hansen (nowhere more evident than on the unstoppable lead track “Drunk”), the thrashy chain like bass guitar of Sara Colanen and fist pumping triple threat drumming of Daryl O’Brien.  Lyrics are typically personal and angry as all get out, celebrating life’s many hard edges and even including track “No Delay”, humorously subtitled ‘(instrumental)’ (despite the fact that it has vocals) featuring lyrics about the Battle of Blackwater Bay from Game of Thrones.

In addition to their undeniable claim to Capital District post-hardcore/grind royalty as a result of their unchallenged speed, volume, talent, and cohesiveness, on their new album Kid Vicious displays not only their ability to perform in other genres but also a surprising sense of comedic relief.  Take for example “Daddy Issues”, a hair metal like track singing the praises of daddy issues to adult men that (assumedly) take advantage of them when they ‘need love’.  Or the Cowpunk working class humor of “None of your business”, a song about rock/metal/punk bands being an all out refuge from normal everyday life where you can tell anyone and everyone to fuck off; “cause I’m in Kid Vicious!”  And finally, “The Ballad of Kid Vicious”, which begins similar to the hard fare but features the more melodic sweeter vocals of Aaron Hansen (which seem to be a telltale sign that this track’s gonna be different and involve humor) speaks to the unstoppability of the band as they scale the walls “Just to be with your mom”; featuring a hilarious breakdown of Aaron’s sweet vocals accompanied only by an acoustic arpeggio prior to which Dolan hilariously screams “Aaron, send them the fuck off!”

The message is unmistakeably loud, clear, and in your face.  Kid Vicious is gonna be the band they want to be, the refuge of ‘The Hive‘ for their dedicated, united front of a group, and play whatever the fuck they wanna play.  Whether that be loud and blasting your ears off sour cornball rockabilly or whatever else they feel like playing, whether you like it or not.  Because they are loving what they do and having a blast doing it, which after all is what music and being in a band should be all about!

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