Hailing from Montreal, Kids Eat Crayons have come out with their second full-length album, Dogs at play Among the Ruins. Both their albums have been self released but unlike the first, this one was produced by the multi talented D.W. Lee, the drummer who wrote all the music and lyrics. This second collection was recorded and mixed by Robert Langlois at Studio 270 in Montreal and was mastered by Bernard Slobodian at Small Mastering Studio, also in Montreal.
With a heavy flow and a consistent theme, which is somehow morbid and fun, Dogs at play among the Ruins can take you by surprise musically and lyrically. They refer to themselves as, “jazz fucking metal” which is apt but I believe it goes even further than that. The music has depth and layers that eclipse multiple genres and the lyrics can be obscure and comical, “Winston Eats Shit” being a good example. Actually, the five tracks that involve “Winston” make me wonder whether Winston is real or if he’s fictional… I hope he’s real.
From the start, a short yet very energetic song “Flouter,” you can hear how dense the music is and the liveliness in vocalist J. Phil Major’s voice. This sets a great tone for the rest of the album. The second track, “Winston Contemplates a Biology Lesson,” really shows off the sax playing of Sam Davis and Josh Fuhrman on the alto and tenor respectively. This track also invoked comic strips of Ren & Stimpy to go off in my head, I think John. K would really dig it.
I don’t want to spoil all the fun so I’m going to highlight just a few of the tracks. “Kids Know Dick,” short but sweet, this song starts off with some soft notes but turns into swirling madness.
“Winston is Asleep,” I found to be interesting and original. Almost impossible to follow any one of the three languages being spoken simultaneously under a very melodious clarinet performed by Sam Davis.
The shortest track at 00:16 seconds long is, “Dogs in the Womb” perhaps the litter that produced Winston, made me envision a bunch puppies moshing in the womb, that poor bitch.
I think my favorite track on the album is “The Chosen Dead,” it’s the longest song at 5:25 minutes. This creative track combines all that is awesome about Kids Eat Crayons.”It showcases every member, those previously mentioned, along with Angelo Zarra on guitar, Dan Garmon on Piano and Scott Kingsley on acoustic bass, proficiency on their instruments. The vocals are loud and sharp, and all together they’re hyper and make it fun.
The album art is abstract yet uncomplicated, and was painted by Ashleigh Bartlett and photographed by Britta Kokemor. The layout and design was done by Kimiyo Nakatsui, who did a great job for Kids Eat Crayons yet again.
All in all, this album is full of energy, very entertaining, and well put together. I give it an 8/10 and I would certainly recommend it, especially to those that enjoy music on the fringe. Both albums are available on their bandcamp site, they even have a bundle deal, or you can pick up a copy at Casa Del Popolo on May 21st where they’ll hit the stage to put an another awesome show.
Written by Joey Beaudin