After listening to Riot Kidz various singles over the years, the band has released their first full length My Last Holiday. What this album results in is years of work that the band has put in. It’s pure pop punk rock influenced by various bands in Japan and the United States. Riot Kidz take these and craft their own unique sound that plays over eight songs. While the music is mainly fast paced, the band is still able to include some slower songs to break up the flow and add some variety.
“Stereotypes” is the lead single and is able to essentially introduce the “core” style of the band. It’s to-the-point punk rock pushed through lead vocalist S.I.D.‘s distinct voice and backed by the other members. From “Stereotypes,” the band brings back a classic “Jamie.” I’ve heard Jamie in early recorded forms as well as live and it’s one of Riot Kidz’ strongest songs. While “Stereotypes” might be the calling card, “Jamie” is a focal point in the band’s overall style. “A Week” reminds me a lot of Japan’s Ellegarden. As one of the Japan’s biggest punk to rock bands, the fact that Riot Kidz can harness the same energy is impressive. It might even be a preliminary sign of the direction Riot Kidz could go.
Slowing things down with “A Heart,” the slower melodic rock shows that the band isn’t limited to stick to punk rock. All the core elements remain and are shown especially in the chorus. On “Mother” the band continues the flow of “A Heart.” It uses some of the same arrangement elements, but differentiates itself enough to give a different emotion. The flow of the album is very deliberate. Focusing the more harder, faster punk in the beginning, the band gradually introduces music that the band hasn’t been known for. The last three songs strip away the necessity of distortion and focus primarily on melodies and upbeat tones. By the time you get to “I’m Sorry Ms. Beauty,” you’re hearing vocals accompanied only by an acoustic guitar. Even though these songs are toned down versions, the live performance could easily add the full band and speed up the tempos.
My Last Holiday shows the growth of this band. Rather than release a full length that only focuses on loud punk rock, Riot Kidz show off a lot of dimension with their songs. If it’s possible, seeing Riot Kidz live will show off how great the band is. For those who can only listen to the album, take heart in knowing that punk rock is where the core of Riot Kidz live.