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Album Review: Precious Art by Rozwell Kid

Rozwell Kid released their new album, Precious Art, on 23rd June via Side One Dummy. It’s an album covered in nostalgia, think a Blue Album era Weezer with touch of introspection. It’s not, however, an album that plays homage to Weezer, the influences might be obvious but it becomes its own beast. Immediate and captivating throughout its 40 minutes.

“Nostalgia has always been part of my inspiration for songwriting,” admits affable frontman Justin Hudkins. “I’ve always seemed to pull from childhood memories and recontextualized them, where I kind of imagine it as a big 30-year-old kid wearing OshKosh B’Gosh overalls singing about these things they experienced or thought about as a kid.”

When it came to writing the album Hudkins found himself in the strange place of wondering who and what Rozwell Kid actually was. After more than two years on the road, the band – completed by guitarist Adam Meisterhans, bassist/vocalist Devin Donnelly and drummer Sean Hallock – hadn’t quite hit a dead end, but they needed to regroup, rethink and re-find their identity.

It’s an album that combines the whimsy of Weezer with a more serious under current. ‘Boomerang’ has the tones of being tongue-in-cheek but you get the impression that the light guitars and ‘oooo-ahs’ cover up the more serious introspection of always returning to an ex (or vice-versa).  Nothing illustrates that more than the song “Booger.” Yes, it’s an amusing tale that revolves around the green stuff that comes out of your nose being smeared across the screen of your smartphone, but it’s also so much more than that – it’s a tender, touching and even tragic ode to lost love, that is filled with an audibly sad beauty.

“We’re pretty fun guys,” Hudkins says, “and I’m a huge fan of comedy and feeling good and happiness, but at the same time, that’s not the day-to-day default emotion for, well, pretty much everyone. So I try not to take things too seriously, but I also try to keep it rooted in some sort of reality. Yeah, it’s called “Booger” and that’s the central image, but at the same time I wanted it to also play as sincere because at the end of the day, it’s a love song.” Referencing something so uninhibited isn’t meant to be interpreted as creepy or misguided, though. It’s human and natural and reflexive; we just don’t talk about it.

Enjoyable and inoffensive, Precious Art is a strong album. While it doesn’t do anything new are ground-breaking, if it’s light pop rock you’re looking for you can’t beat it.

AD Rating 6/10

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