The Kindest People are a Tennessee alternative rock band and their 2017 full length, Idle Revival is a really interesting listen. The band describes themselves as stylish indie with a garage rock attitude, but that only scratches the surface. Idle Revival has a sense of theatricality to it; the unique vocal melodies and impressive musicianship kept me interested throughout most of the album. If you’re looking for indie rock with a sense of character, The Kindest People are worth checking out.
Idle Revival kicks off with the song “Prosperity Inc.,” one of a few shorter tracks on the album that sets the mood and narrative that The Kindest People are pushing. The album’s story progresses not only through vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Matthew Sykes’ lyrics, but through a series of spoken word passages as well. I don’t want to get too into the concept of the album. I think it’s more impactful to listen yourself, but personally, I think Idle Revival follows a man’s attempts to recruit people for the titular movement.
Even without the narrative, Idle Revival is an enjoyable listen. Matthew Sykes gels with guitarist Spencer Otey, bassist Evan Rice, and drummer Matthew Dougherty throughout the album. This is probably most notable in the song “Alter Call,” which sees The Kindest People play off of one another in the same vein as that of a jam band. Some other standout moments are the almost off-key chorus riff in “Join In” and the over-the-top tremolo/reverbed guitar on “Give No (YAFM),” both of which add a real sense of character to Idle Revival. The vocal melodies throughout the album are nothing to sneeze at either. Sykes boasts a fairly wide vocal range, keeping up with the guitar melody in the song “Collide,” and bringing things back down in the more mellow song “Backfire.”
Despite how interesting The Kindest People keep things throughout most of the album, there are a few less-than-stellar moments on Idle Revival. The song “I’m No Enemy” doesn’t do anything for me, with a much less interesting melody than previously heard. Similarly, “Mind Up” didn’t add anything to the album musically. There’s nothing overly memorable about the song, and I found myself wanting to skip past it on repeat listens.
The few low points on Idle Revival weren’t enough to stop me from enjoying this outing from The Kindest People. If you’re looking for an indie rock band that does things a little different, I can’t recommend this album enough.
Written by Justin Bruce
*edited by Mike Milito