Die Shellsuit, Die!

An Alternative Music Magazine

Smile Kid

We The Kings

It’s hard to take a band seriously in the ’alternative’ music world when they work with someone from the mainstream, and credibility built up by the artist is at risk of being thrown away for a quick buck and a bit of fame.

We The Kings have fallen into this trap by featuring the very antithesis of ’alternative’ music, Demi Lovato. ’Who’s she?’ I hear you ask, well she’s the girl from Disney’s ’Camp Rock’, the ’edgier’ version of High School Musical, or at least as ’edgy’ as Disney get I guess. She’s even dating one of The Jonas Brothers (I had to check in case she was married to a member of the band, which would make the collaboration understandable but not forgivable). This is clearly a statement of intent from the band, it says ’we want to be big’, so can ’Smile Kid’ elevate them from their current status of pop-rock contenders?

The short and simple answer would be no. The album overall is just too ’nice’, there’s no bite, nothing to make the band stand out from the crowd. There are decent tracks peppered around the album, but the highs are hills when mountains are required. The trio of ’She Takes Me High’, ’Heaven Can Wait’ and ’Check Yes Juliet’ are all single but not anthem material.

We The Kings admittedly do their best work when they’re writing radio friendly slices of pop-rock, ’Spin’ being a personal favourite, they can sound beautifully summery which makes their absence from the festival circuit a bit baffling. ’Summer Love’ would sound perfect whilst soaking up the rays with its carnival backdrop and soaring vocals. ’We’ll Be A Dream’ is the song on which Demi Lovato guests, it’s a sickly sweet ballad, that serves only to provide variation to the album and does not show We The Kings at their best, though I must grudgingly accept that the vocals provided by Ms Lovato are cracking.

I’m convinced that if We The Kings are to be thought of in the same breath as the likes of Paramore or even You Me At Six they will need a few more hits, the sort of song that everyone knows, even if they don’t know who sings it. High profile support slots and a cracking third album wouldn’t go amiss, because on this evidence their lofty ambitions will remain unfulfilled.

Listen: www.myspace.com/wethekings