Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Good Kids - Odyssey 225


Recently I was nicknamed Steve Perry by one of my professors and I couldn’t understand why. I don’t have an awesome singing voice and bear no resemblance to the former Journey lead singer. Still I embraced the new moniker and figured it could have been worse. Two of my classmates in the same class are nicknamed Bono and Hillary Swank because one is a pretentious guy who wears weird sunglasses all the time and the other has a similar overbite to the Academy Award winning actress respectively.

Then it hit me- I have grown out my hair and have a classic Steve Perry-like natural hairstyle. I couldn’t stop laughing when I realized that and I decided to check out some classic arena rock bands. Immediately I went through my iTunes and starting playing bands like Journey, Bon Jovi, Queen, Blue Öyster Cult, etc. It was about that time I received a digital album of The Good Kids to review and it was perfect timing.

The Good Kids is comprised of Cortez Jordan (lead singer and rhythm guitar), Eric Zann (lead guitar), Christopher V Swanson (bass), and Jared Gray (drums). The Orange County arena-rock quartet was originally a trio that consisted of Jordan, Gray and Swanson. Their debut album, Closing Northwood, was released in January 2010 and their sophomore album, Odyssey 225, was released last fall.

A lot of buzz has been building up about this band. The Good Kids definitely has the potential to become a major player in the next couple of years and will easily be a major figure at the Orange County Music Awards. The Good Kids were recently invited and attended the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards Show on February 13th, 2011.

Considering The Good Kids released two albums last year, who are these guys? After listening to their latest album, Odyssey 225, all my questions went away except, why haven’t I already heard about this band? The moment you listen to the first track, “A Mean Walk,” you’re immediately engulfed in awesome arena rock music.

For a moment there I thought I was listening to the new Pearl Jam album. Cortez Jordan without a doubt sounds like Eddie Vedder and is that good. Jordan’s vocals are phenomenal and is a new undiscovered talent waiting to be discovered.

Sometimes you need heavy guitars and drums to make a good pop/rock song oh so much better. That’s the case with The Good Kids covering Coldplay’s “The Scientist.” This cover is reminiscent of what Alien Ant Farm did with Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal,” the cover sounds superior to the original with a faster and harder sound.

The wicked bass line on “Suckerpunch” knocks you out with a great song that is strikingly similar to classic Pearl Jam songs. It’s abundantly obvious the influence early 90s alternative and grunge music had on the band. Everything from Nirvana, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains to current bands like the Foo Fighters and the Dave Matthews Band (DMB) have made an impact on this band.

There are two versions of “King of the Day,” including an acoustic version, and they  both feel like a kick ass DMB song. Two songs that really kick out the jams are “Karma’s Alive” and “Behind.” The latter perfectly captures their sound along with the first track, “A Mean Walk.” This band is essential modern hard rock that everyone should be listening to and this music should be played often on the radio.

What Eddie Vedder did for Pearl Jam, what Chris Cornell did for Soundgarden and what Kurt Cobain did for Nirvana, Cortez Jordan is going to do with The Good Kids and lead them to the promised land.

--Brownstone

Buy here mp3: Odyssey 225



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