Over the years, SideOneDummy has done a yeoman’s job of discovering an eclectic and brilliant collection of indie and punk musicians and bringing them to a larger audience. From Gogol Bordello and Flogging Molly to Gaslight Anthem and the Smith Street Band, the LA-based label has a helluva track record. Add West Virginia’s Rozwell Kid to the list.
On Precious Art, their fourth effort and first for SideOneDummy, the four-piece combine punk, power pop and indie rock with remarkably satisfying results. The record kicks off with the addictive singalong “Wendy’s Trash Can” and powers through for a tight, dozen tracks that fly by leaving you spent and clamoring for more of the same. There are a couple of spots that allow you to catch your breath, like on the slower, but equally great “Futon” or “South By”. While their musical influences are varied – you can hear snatches of everyone from The Knack to Weezer – lyrically, they write deceptively simple songs that on closer inspection are pretty damn deep (think Michael Stipe or Motion City Soundtrack’s Justin Pierre).
The album closes with the pensive slow rocker “Michael Keaton,” a perfect capper to an impressive album. Just six years into their existence, Rozwell Kid has managed to pull off being both prolific and dependably great, two things that rarely go hand in hand.