Rozwell Kid: Precious Art Review

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Rozwell Kid: <i>Precious Art</i> Review

Rozwell Kid sounds like Weezer. Literally every piece of press this band has ever gotten and likely ever get will make the same comparison. Hipper journalists will write things like, “They sound like Weezer, but, like, good Weezer,” which is a way to keep one’s cred intact (and not admit that you still listen to Weezer post-2001/2002/2005/2008/whenever your alleged drop-off point was).

So, yeah: Rozwell Kid sounds like Weezer. But not just “good” Weezer; all of Weezer, from the soaring dual guitar solos of the Blue Album (“Total Mess”) to the goofy pop songs buried deep on Raditude and Hurley (“Blow It”). This West Virginia quartet seemingly exists in a world where everything is ironic, therefore nothing is—how else can the band justify releasing a song called “Wish Man,” a minute-long throwaway track that sounds like a Green Album outtake and features the members barking like dogs, or “South By,” another minute-long throwaway about the struggles of parking at SXSW that is more musically complex than anything else on the record. Even the title of Rozwell Kid’s new album is absurd: Precious Art. It takes either a certain level of arrogance or a certain level of indifference for rock musicians to refer to their music in such a way. Or, in the case of Rozwell Kid, it’s both: They know just how damn good they are, and they absolutely do not give a shit.

This is why Precious Art is such a thrilling listen: Each song is lyrically simple at first blush (“Boomerang” is about wanting to buy someone a boomerang; “MadTV” is about watching MadTV) but subsequent plays offer a surprising amount of depth. Take, for instance, album highlight “Booger”: Frontman Jordan Hudkins sings about picking his nose and accidentally getting the end result on his smartphone as he rushes to answer a call from his girlfriend—not exactly the sexiest or most mysterious topic for a rock song. But then there’s the absolutely sublime chorus: “Booger smeared across my screen/I don’t wanna let anything/Keep me from saying, ‘I love you’/Not even a booger on my screen.” Even more heartbreaking is the girl in question dumps him in the second verse, which turns the song into “The World Has Turned And Left Me Here” for millennials.

While Weezer will always be an easy comparison to make, Rozwell Kid’s sound is rooted in classic ’90s power-pop of criminally underrated bands such as Superdrag, Nada Surf and Fountains Of Wayne, groups who were unafraid to rock but also had an almost-preternatural ability for writing instantly memorable hooks. Nowhere is this more evident than in Precious Art’s first two singles: “UHF On DVD,” the chorus of which will be instantly implanted in your brain the second you hear it (and really, who can’t relate to the desire to eat tacos and watch “Weird Al” Yankovic’s finest hour with a special friend?), and the fact-paced “Wendy’s Trash Can,” which wouldn’t sound out of place on Superdrag’s 1996 debut Regretfully Yours. There’s something for everyone on Rozwell Kid’s new album, to be honest: It distills down a good two decades’ worth of guitar solos, pop hooks and wink-nudge lyricism into—well, would you look at that—a delightfully precious piece of art.