October 16, 2003

Kiddo "Kiddo"

Kiddo makes me smile. There's something utterly heartwarming about simple, basic rock music. A lack of pretention adds a dimension of wholesome innocence, and Kiddo's about as basic a pop-punk band can be. I mean, if you wanted a definition of what it means to be pop-punk, Kiddo's the band for the job. This trio from Cleveland, Ohio have a style that's so simple, so ordinary, so All-American, that it couldn't be all that great, could it?


Kiddo may be simple in nature, but that doesn't mean that their music is simple. They never hold back from using all of their power, never stopping once to catch their breath, giving their all for the sake of the song. Their boy/girl dynamic is really super-special, too--which makes Kiddo even more rewarding. See, I'm a sucker for such interplay, and when they sing together on songs like "Amy" and "You're Not Who You Say You Are," it's really nice.

Indeed, Kiddo reminds me of a simpler time for music: 1995. Funny, but both gutarist Christian Doble and Liz Wittman sound like two Chicago-based alternative-rock star types. Doble has a vocal style that at times makes him sound just like Smoking Popes' Josh Caterer, and I have a feeling that Wittman spent more than a few hours dancing around her bedroom and singing into her brush while listening to Veruca Salt's American Thighs. In fact, I'd be willing to say that Kiddo's the kid sister to The Like Young. Kiddo is cutesy alternapop-rock made by--and for--twenty-six year old teenagers of all ages.

Kiddo is a scrapper of an album. You really can't help but be charmed by their simplicity, their cuteness and their wit. You could have a lot of fun listening to Kiddo by yourself, but why would you? This is a party record, put it on and have instant fun! Smart, sassy, silly, fun--and I bet their live show's a hoot, too!

--Joseph Kyle

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