For the last ten years or so, South Wales has become known for spitting out great acts such as Bring Me The Horizon, Funeral for A Friend and Lostprophets, and after hearing the release of their debut album, Kids In Glass Houses were hotly tipped as rising stars. After the best start in the career, including receiving rave reviews from NME, and being nominated for Best British Newcomer at the Kerrang! Awards, they jetted stateside to tour and record their second offering in Sonic Ranch Studios, Texas, with former front-man of A, Jason Perry (remember that really annoying -Starbucks’ song a few years ago?).
The album opener, -Artbreaker I’ seduces you in, reminding you of the Kids In Glass Houses’ debut release Smart Casual. And for the first half of Dirt, it is these energetic, anthemic, hook-filled songs that hark back to -Fisticuffs’-era of Kids In Glass Houses. But this aggression gradually fades out, and midway the album begins to lack the anger and energy of their debut, swapping catchy hooks for soft ballads in such songs as -The Morning Afterlife’ and -Undercover Lover’.
Choosing a producer who’s worked for the likes of Busted and McFly, and with guest appearances from Frankie Sandford of The Saturdays (on the aforementioned -Undercover Lover’) sounds like a band very much shooting for the weird and wacky world of the mainstream industry. Although they try to save their reputation with the guest appearance of granddaddies of pop-punk New Found Glory on track -Maybe Tomorrow’, but when they’re not attempting to sound like the Lostprophets (-Lilli Rose’), they dangerously veer into YouMeAtSix territory (-The Best Is Yet To Come’). At the end of the day, behind the pretty boys’ image their music fails to stand on its own two legs and, unless you’re a prepubescent girl, I’d give it a wide berth.