Alternative/emo band Pool Kids recently released their sophomore LP, a self-titled album about the various aspects of a relationship break-up or dumping someone, with all the bloody emotional upheaval disguised in the word ‘dump.’
Pool Kids started in 2017 and comprises Christine Goodwyne (vocals, guitar), Andrew Anaya (guitar), Nicolette Alvarez (bass), and Caden Clinton (drums). They dropped a demo, called “Borderline,” via Bandcamp, and then released their debut album, Music To Practice Safe Sex To, which Hayley Williams commented on, likening it indirectly to Paramore.
Beginning with “Conscious Uncoupling,” which starts out on gentle, nostalgic tones and then ramps up to emo-flavored alt-rock tinted with pop-punk aromas as Goodwyne invests the lyrics with ferocious honesty.
“So here we are on this stupid couch again / I never wanna see you lift the corners of your mouth again / Oh, I would pay to see the look in your eye / You’ve got a lot of nerve to be asking me why.”
Entry points include “That’s Physics, Baby,” with its chugging waves of guitars and glittering accents. “Almost Always Better (Almost Always Worse)” conjures up suggestions of Avril Lavigne, ebbing and rising on delicious creamy tones, followed by jarring, angular episodes.
One of the best tracks, “Further,” features low-slung, glittering guitars atop graceful drums of grand subtlety, all capped by Goodwyne’s velvety, evocative voice, under exquisite lilting control.
Vaguely reminiscent of The Cranberries, “Comes In Waves” floats on shimmering colors, while Goodwyne’s supple, dreamy voice imbues the lyrics with luscious, diaphanous timbres.
Another gem, “I Hope You’re Right” drips with delicate, refined textures, punctuated by heavier interludes, and Goodwyne’s bewitching vocals. Whereas “Swallow,” opens on a cool drum shuffle flowing into edgy guitars giving off tense tones. Caden Clinton’s drums infuse the rhythm with impressive movement.
Drifting harmonics initiate “Waking Up,” followed by glimmering guitars burgeoning to chunking heft as Goodwyne’s wistful voice imbues the lyrics with sighing textures. “Arm’s Length” brings to mind Liz Phair, with its latent alt-rock energy and explosive chorus, full of potent frustration.
“Sometimes when I can’t sleep / I can feel the space I’ve put between / The only people I’d risk everything for / But if they’d whisper at my door / I’d probably hide under the sheets.”
On Pool Kids, Pool Kids displays their enormous talent for rhythm and structure, along with the compelling vocals of Christine Goodwyne.