Okay, I’ll admit, I’m a little old school when it comes to my genres. Sure, I know the difference between emo and pop-punk but I don’t get into all of the subgenres. That’s honestly one of the main reasons I was hesitant to review Karma Kids’ ‘Chemical Drugs’ EP. The press release claimed it was dubber “Emocore” which had me a bit intimidated but, as I read on more, I realized that this could be perfect. Apparently, a couple of members of Karma Kids used to be in emo, pop-punk, and metalcore bands and have used this project to combine all of those genres into one. All three of those genres are absolutely my cup of tea and, realizing that that’s all that “emocore” is, I realized that this could be my new favorite genre. The pressure is on Karma Kids to really convince me of this.
The amount of power that “Sexual Drugs” kicks this quick EP off with is stunning and, as soon as the vocals came in, I knew I had found a new favorite. The sound is truly that perfect mix of all of the aforementioned genres and the delivery is beyond perfect. You get that sad emo-bop vibe while still getting the power of any great metalcore album. Although there isn’t much change in the sound or the vibe. the difference between tracks on this EP is there. “Lightning” has almost the same tempo of “Sexual Drugs” but brings a more nostalgic feeling to the forefront. I instantly was reminded of bands like Senses Fail with the vocal styling o this track (and all of the tracks for that matter). Although you can understand the words clearly, there’s something a bit laid back about the vocals that makes Karma Kids’ sound approachable and relatable.
The title track “Chemical Drugs” was an instant favorite of mine. There’s a sense of sensitivity that each word is presented with while the music doesn’t lose its energy or intensity. I’m not quite sure how to explain it but this song just filled my house with a sense of warmth that I didn’t get from the previous two tracks but the song is still clearly that of Karma Kids. That sense of warmth continues with “Skeletons” which was another favorite of mine. The lyrics of this one are the type of lyrics that I am constantly searching for. There’s a sense of nostalgia with them while not feeling childish or blindly angsty. “Skeletons” got a couple of listens before I moved on to “Wasting Away”.
“Wasting Away” changed the mood of this EP instantly but in the most beautiful way. This stunning track has an acoustic sound to it and clear nods to the great emo bands of years gone by. Some songs just hit you and give you goosebumps instantly just due to the way the vocals are styled mixed with the words they are saying and this track is a perfect example of that. I was getting all wrapped up in my emotions but was saved by the final track, “Jersey”.
“Jersey” definitely keeps the emo vibe in the spotlight but drops the acoustic styling and seems to focus more on just pure emotion. This track is all too short for my liking but I don’t mean that like I didn’t like this track, more that I wasn’t ready for this quick twenty-three-minute EP to end.
I’ve never been one for all of those subgenres that the youths seem to make up on a daily basis but Karma Kids has sold me on this “emocore” genre. This EP may be quick but it had everything that my always nostalgia-seeking soul has ever wanted. What a great sound from a great band.
My Favorite Track(s): “Chemical Drugs”; “Skeletons”
For Fans Of: Pop-Punk; Angst; Nostalgia
Mosh-ability: 8 out of 10
What My Cats Thought Of It: Both cats scarfed down their dinner as if they had never seen food before
How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 8 out of 10
My Overall Rating: 7.8 out of 10
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