Kids in the Way is:
David "Dave" Pelsue - Lead Vocals [1997 - Present]
Nathan Ehman - Guitar, Background Vocals [1997 - Present] (Also current guitarist for Disciple)
Eric Carter - Drums, Background Vocals [1997 - Present]
Wille Bostic - Bass, Background Vocals [2005 - Present] (formerly of Sky Harbor)
Remember when that one bully snorted a line off the other bully's palm and sneered at the child molester masquerading as a motivational speaker as he was introduced to the only two decent teachers in school who were understandably preoccupied by the uncomfortably sexual gyrations of the prepubescent dance troupe? Sure you do. It's the trippy introductory montage to Donnie Darko, and it's soundtracked by the lush melancholia of Tears for Fears' "Head Over Heels." Like the rest of us, Kids in the Way frontman David Pelsue got a major I Love the 80s rush from the sequence; unlike the rest of us, he acted on it.
"I think every record we've ever made, even when we were just an indie band making crappy demos on our own, we always talked about covering a Tears for Fears song," he recalls. "When you listen to a record or you watch a movie and you have those moments where you're like, 'That was just amazing,' that was one of those moments for us. We were like, 'We've gotta do "Head Over Heels." That's the song we're doing.'"
Voila, a crushing hard rock version of the Tears classic is among the 13 impassioned anthems on Apparitions of Melody: The Dead Letters Edition, the revamped sophomore effort from four young men aiming to be the biggest thing out of Noblesville, IN since... um... corn. Like the Darko montage, Kids in the Way have an uncanny aptitude for nuance. Having played together in various incarnations since high school, Pelsue, guitarist Nathan Ehman and drummer Eric Carter, have evolved from an inauspicious acoustic alt-pop infancy into a dangerously combustible, unpredictable post-screamo powerhouse. Taking advantage of both the songwriting talents of new bassist Wille Bostic and Sony BMG's acquisition of their tiny indie label, Flicker, the Kids not only imbued Apparitions with the muscle and heft it deserved, but supplemented the record with their two most riveting songs yet, "Fiction" and "Getting Over You Getting Over Me."
First single "Fiction," now the album's leadoff hitter, is a revelatory study in balance. A serpentine, tense arpeggio that would make Jawbox blush is batted aside by a propulsive, palm-muted gallop until Pelsue tears into the hook, "We're making fiction of our lives, burning pages as we write." Literate, taut, and rumbling with apocalyptic subtext, "Fiction" more than sets the tone for what is to follow. Be prepared to study "the lines between the lines" as you pore through Apparitions' songbook.
"We felt [Apparitions] was a really good record and we're really proud of the songs," Pelsue explains, "so we're re-releasing it with all these new tools at our disposal. We tried to keep [the new] songs in the vein of Apparitions, but really just focused on writing two killer songs people won't forget, that'll get stuck on their heads."
To accomplish that mission, the quartet joined forces with alt-rock production heavies David Bendeth and Kato (Breaking Benjamin, Hawthorne Heights, the X's) for studio time in Manhattan. And while the Kids don't have any Ross Robinson or Bob Rock-style browbeatings to report, the intense sessions played a critical part in their maturation process.
"David's a really nice guy and a big sweetheart," Pelsue says, "but he's all about business, and the first day we spent with him, man, he broke us down. He ripped us apart and rebuilt us from the ground up. For the first couple hours, it was pretty intimidating. But once we kind of accepted what was going on and saw how crucial and how much of a stepping stone it was gonna be for our band, it was a life-changing experience."
The results speak for themselves. For every ultra-modern gang-scream and jackhammer riff on Apparitions, there's counterbalance in the form of intricate melodies, intoxicating atmospherics, and thoughtful imagery that evokes '80s stadium giants.
With practice and determination, Pelsue has found himself becoming an increasingly potent storyteller. "Burt Rutan" pays titular homage to the Oregonian aeronautics genius who independently designs customized, privately funded spacecraft, while the song itself encourages a degenerating world to consider the sordid environment it's cultivating for future generations. The similarly provocative "Last Day of 1888" uses a destitute man accused of infamous killer Jack the Ripper's crimes as a metaphor for decrying intolerance and rash judgments.
"I'm really intrigued by the mystery, like not necessarily of serial killers," Pelsue confesses, "but the mystery in the working of people's minds."
That pursuit of depth is precisely why so many are gravitating to Kids in the Way. Pity-party emo whining is played out. Introspection, empathy, and honesty aren't just "in""they never went out of style. Here's your second chance to pick up your four-leaf clover.