The members of Seattle, WA’s The Not-Its! are back once again. This kid friendly quintet has produced in its fourth new release an album that is unlike any other children’s album out there right now. Kidquake is a semi-pop punk record that will appeal both to parents and to kids with its rhythms and its lyrics. From the very moment that the album is unwrapped, listeners automatically are presented with the album’s first positive. That positive is that the album is presented in a gatefold package. And printed in each fold are the full lyrics to each song on the album. This allows parents and kids alike to follow along with each song and even talk about each one as the album proceeds thanks to this. This is an excellent first impression whether one is new to the music of the Not-Its! or not. From here, the positives keep coming in the form of the album’s set list.
The album’s opener and title track instantly grabs listeners with its kid friendly pop punk vibe as vocalist Sarah Shannon sings, “I wonder if you ever get the feeling/From your head down to your toes/Wanna get up, keep your body moving/Kids have a power no one knows/Shake, shake, shake/Kidquake/Kidquake/We’ve got the power to move any mountain/No way to keep this power down.” Shannon is singing here about the power in every child. That’s made especially clear as she sings, “So when you’re feeling down like the world is moving too fast/You gotta tap into that molten kid core and make it last/There’s a seismic shift you’re gonna feel all over the world/There’s an energy we’ve got to set it free c’mon every boy and girl.” If this mix of positive lyrics and up-tempo music doesn’t get any young listener moving, nothing will. It’s a great first impression for this album. And in an age when there’s so much emphasis on getting kids moving and keeping them fit, this song is a great way to get kids active right off the bat.
Parents will appreciate the album’s opener as it encourages kids to get moving. They’ll also appreciate it for its catchy hooks and melodies. Just as they’ll appreciate this song, parents will especially appreciate the song, ‘Busy.’ What parent hasn’t felt bogged down trying to get their child(ren) ready for school while they themselves are trying to get ready for work in the morning? This song expertly exemplifies exactly what every parent feels in this all too common case. The ska style music base gets the frantic energy across all by itself. Shannon’s equally frantic vocals make the song even more believable as she sings, “The alarm clock, didn’t go off and now we’re late/Grab your backpack and your lunch box no time to waste/Where is your left shoe? What are we gonna do?/The baby’s barking, the dog is screaming/The school bell’s ringing/(we gotta go) Where are the keys?/(we gotta go) Who’s gotta pee?/We gotta go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go………….” Parents will laugh at the confusion between the baby and the dog. Any parent will agree that that kind of confusion really does happen. The comic element of the song makes this another highlight. But it’s the song’s chorus that really makes the song hit home for parents. Shannon and her band mates sing in the song’s chorus, “We need to just Slow down! Slow down! Slow down!/We’re just too busy” That couldn’t be more true. It seems that we’ve always got so much on our plate. Sometimes parents just need to slow down and take a break. The chorus comes across in a semi-comical manner. But there’s a much more serious side to that chorus, too. And any parent will agree with that, again, proving just how impressive an addition this song is to this album.
‘Busy’ and the album’s title track are both great additions to the brand new release from The Not-Its! They’re just a part of what makes this album so enjoyable for parents and kids alike. There are songs about the joy of skateboarding, playing pinball, Rock Paper Scissors, and even the tumult of a child’s temper tantrum just to name a few other topics included in this LP. Whether for these songs or the song, ‘Operation Cooperation’, which teaches the importance of working together, kids and adults have more than enough to enjoy out of this album with every listen. The band is currently touring in support of its new album. So kids and their parents will get their chance to see the band live now. The band will be performing this Saturday, February 16th in New York City and then in Philadelphia, PA on the 17th. Those shows will be followed by a pair of dates in the nation’s capitol on the 18th and 19th. Parents can get the full information on these upcoming shows and lots more when they visit the band’s website, http://www.wearethenot-its.com.
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