Can’t Kids’ “Brushes, Touches, Tongues”

Holly anticipates the next project from Can’t Kids– their latest release leaving her wanting more.

Holly Etchison
Can’t Kids’ “Brushes, Touches, Tongues

out of 10

Can't Kids
Brushes, Touches, Tongues
December 4, 2011
Fork and Spoon Records

My older brother made me a mixed tape when I was in the tenth grade. He already knew many things I did not; one in particular was that a little yelling was good for the soul. I was mostly sitting on the floor in my room doing homework, but when the Replacements screamed “kids don’t follow” it sure helped make sense of things and sometimes, driving around as an ‘adult’, it still does.

Listening to the Columbia, SC based Can’t Kids’ first release, “Brushes, Touches, Tongues,“ similar feelings rally. Things seem uncomplicated here and not too touchy, a happy shift in the world of indie melodrama (at least in my world of indie melodrama). Irreverent and uncouth, jangly tunes like “Gimme A Grab” refresh and entertain where they do not derail. Adam Cullen and Jessica Oliver make a joyous hollering duo and the irony isn’t lost as Cullen sassily ends things with a line from the Waitresses’ new wave classic “I Know What Boys Like, I Know What Guys Want.”

“Ghost Killah” features Oliver’s nice vocals again, a little Kirsty MacColl and Shane MacGowan, “let the dead rain upon us…let the dead bury their own dead.” Amy Cuthbertson chimes in on cello, taking things to a poetic level.

It’s also hard to ignore “Happy Hippie Songs” especially because (another drawing factor of this project-many songs that don‘t reach the three minute mark) it doesn’t drag on forever. With a go-go’s drumbeat and The Cure “Killing an Arab” harem-ish riff, Henry Thomas on bass, the lyrics had me laughing. “No more horror stories, we wanna hear the happy hippie songs…maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s Maybelline.” Ha and ha.

Following the garage band grinding guitar of songs like “Stab/Grab,“ “It’s Yrs” is another head banging pleaser, a sort of punk rock surrender: “You Can Have It, It’s Yrs”.

The album’s closer, hair band-esque ballad “Julie,” jumps the shark somewhere mid cello solo, (a little Wedding singer “Holiday” scene). Its abrupt ending, however, leaves a “to be continued” feeling, confirming in finale that you can’t completely write these kids off.

-Holly Etchison, August 11, 2012