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Review – Relient K "The Bird and the Bee Sides" Part 2 July 3, 2008

Posted by rawkfistmusic in 2008, Relient K.
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Written by Jake S.

And we’re back with more fantastical music from the boys in Relient K. The second half, over all, is quiet a bit more enjoyable I think, as it seems R.K. has gone back to their roots with these b-sides.

We are treated to, in the beginning, a BEAUTIFUL acoustic sing-a-long perfectly harmonized song about self-improvement entitled, “Up And Up”, after the common saying meaning someone is “In the Know”.

“Wit’s All Been Done” shows Relient going back to their awesome punk roots and busting out those fat riffs like it’s 2001. Another one of my favs, this track brings to mind the struggle artists must go through every so often when they just can’t seem to write anything. Possibly a hint that ‘K is realizing they’ve milked this Christian Rock thing for all it’s worth? Nah, I’m only dreaming out loud.

“The Vinyl Countdown” brings the punk thunder as well, beginning with a nifty little vinyl scratch or two. The lyrics spit from Matt T.’s mouth with such ferocity you almost expect him to start screaming a few lyrics. The song itself brings up and interesting point; kids these days can’t remember the days of vinyl. It had a different feel that CDs and mp3s just can’t seem to grasp. It’s all very nostalgic.

“For The Band” sounds like it could be the funnest song to play in existence. The energy it gives everyone playing is shown right from the beginning. You can just TELL that these guys had huge grins on their faces when they recorded this, and that fun transfers over to the listener. It was all I could do to keep myself from getting out of my chair and dancing like a gay man on catnip. Although the song seems to drag a little right around the bridge.

Brace yourself near the end of “For The Band” because your ears are about to be assaulted by more sound than can be produced by 50,000 screaming fans at a rock concert. Not that it’s a bad thing, it keeps that whole gay catnip vibe going. These songs a great crowd pleasers. Especially this track, “Nothing Without You”, an opus in itself masquerading as a tribute to Relient’s numerous fans. It reassures you that buying this long-ass CD wasn’t a total waste. At least they thanked you.

“A Penny Loafer Saved is a Penny Loafer Earned” has the best intro lyrics I have heard ever. The indie reminiscent song starts out as thus: “Well Brian and me well/We both agree that/That penny loafers are absurd/’Cause I dont know why on earth/You would take your two cents worth/And stick them in your girly shoes”. Enough said.

The next two songs are the same thing (“Five Iron Frenzy is Either Dead or Dying”), but with different styles. Not a huge fan, as together they only equal about half a song, and Matt T. uses the word “Neato”, which brought my respect for him down so low I ALMOST stopped listening to the record right when I heard it. Then the ska version popped up and hey, guess what, R.K. got me to like something ska again!

The last five songs are Demos of tracks Relient K has already put out on previous CDs (most of them are acoustic) including, “Who I Am Hates Who I’ve Been”, “Here I Go”, “The Stenographer”, “Jefferson Aeroplane” and “Hope For Every Fallen Men”. If you feel the need to listen to these, then listen to all of them and get the whole experience, not just certain ones. ESPECIALLY the demo of “Who I Am Hates Who I’ve Been”. I cannot explain to you how much I LOATHE the version of that song they put out on Mmhmm. I nearly skipped over the demo, but followed my journalistic instinct and that thing has been on repeat ever since.

I must say, overall, I’m pretty glad I had a listen to this record. The whole thing takes you back to the good ol’ days when Relient K was more punkish and a lot more fun to listen to. Now if only I could find it on vinyl to bring the whole thing full circle.

9 out of 10

Overall Average: 8.75 out of 10

Download This – “A Penny Loafer Saved is a Penny Loafer Earned”

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