Music

Courier Club's 'Drive Like Your Kids Live Here' Is a Sweaty, Energetic Blast

Photo: Kevin Condon / Courtesy of Little Star PR

Philadelphia's Courier Club fuse post-punk with '90s indie on a breathless five-song EP that leaves the listener wanting more.

Drive Like Your Kids Live Here
Courier Club

Independent

17 April 2020

The music comes at you fast and furious. Right out of the gate, the debut EP from Philadelphia's Courier Club sounds like it was blasted in from a London punk club circa 1980, as "We All Want to Be There" combines frenetic bass/drums interplay, searing guitars and understated keyboard lines. The song, inspired by the band's gleeful, manic experiences at a hometown rave, has energy to burn and brings to mind a packed, pogo-ing dancefloor. On Drive Like Your Kids Live Here, Courier Club are adept and paying tribute to their playlists while forging a style all their own.

"Third Heart" ups the ante, with the same energy as its predecessor but with more of an emphasis on a simple guitar/bass/drums dynamic. Keyboards are stripped away – except for some low-end industrial squalls – and walls of guitar give the song a cathartic post-hardcore aesthetic. But a deeper dive into Drive Like Your Kids Live Here, which was written and recorded in the summer and fall of 2019, uncovers more sophisticated elements. The amped-up Britpop of "Soundscape 1992" is a more layered, laid-back track that features plenty of early '90s elements, including guitarist Ryan Conway's chiming, Johnny Marr-inspired work.

The driving, insistent beat of "It Takes Time" is well-complimented by a retro keyboard riff and Timothy Waldron's Bowie-style crooning (the song was conjured up after a day of binging Scary Monsters). It's the most layered, sophisticated track on the EP, combining post-punk energy with dark lyrics that touch on depression and ways to combat it. Almost as if to prove their ability to be musically eclectic, Drive Like Your Kids Live Here ends with the gentle ballad "My Favorite Game". Framed by acoustic guitar and piano, the tale of a relationship burning out manages to sound emotionally resonant but never dives into clichés.

Drive Like Your Kids Live Here can, at times, sound like a band putting out a resume of the full scope of their work. It includes the fast stuff, the funky stuff, the heartbreaking stuff, and everything in between. There's something for everyone here, and it bodes well for a full-length album if one is in the works.

7


Music


Books


Film


Television


Recent
Music

The 10 Best Experimental Albums of 2015

Music of all kinds are tending toward a consciously experimental direction. Maybe we’re finally getting through to them.

Books

John Lewis, C.T. Vivian, and Their Fellow Freedom Riders Are Celebrated in 'Breach of Peace'

John Lewis and C.T. Vivian were titans of the Civil Rights struggle, but they are far from alone in fighting for change. Eric Etheridge's masterful then-and-now project, Breach of Peace, tells the stories of many of the Freedom Riders.

Music

Unwed Sailor's Johnathon Ford Discusses Their New Album and 20 Years of Music

Johnathon Ford has overseen Unwed Sailor for more than 20 years. The veteran musician shows no sign of letting up with the latest opus, Look Alive.

Jedd Beaudoin
Music

Jazz Trombonist Nick Finzer Creates a 'Cast of Characters'

Jazz trombonist Nick Finzer shines with his compositions on this mainstream jazz sextet release, Cast of Characters.

Music

Datura4 Travel Blues-Rock Roads on 'West Coast Highway Cosmic'

Australian rockers Datura4 take inspiration from the never-ending coastal landscape of their home country to deliver a well-grounded album between blues, hard rock, and psychedelia.

Books

Murder Is Most Factorial in 'Eighth Detective'

Mathematician Alex Pavesi's debut novel, The Eighth Detective, posits mathematical rules defining 'detective fiction'.

Music

Eyedress Sets Emotions Against Shoegaze Backdrops on 'Let's Skip to the Wedding'

Eyedress' Let's Skip to the Wedding is a jaggedly dreamy assemblage of sounds that's both temporally compact and imaginatively expansive, all wrapped in vintage shoegaze ephemera.

Film

Of Purges and Prescience: On David France's LGBTQ Documentary, 'Welcome to Chechnya'

The ongoing persecution of LGBTQ individuals in Chechnya, or anywhere in the world, should come as no surprise, or "amazement". It's a motif undergirding the history of civil society that certain people will always be identified for extermination.

Television

Padma Lakshmi's 'Taste the Nation' Questions What, Exactly, Is American Food

Can food alone undo centuries of anti-immigrant policies that are ingrained in the fabric of the American nation? Padma Lakshmi's Taste the Nation certainly tries.

Film

Performing Race in James Whale's 'Show Boat'

There's a song performed in James Whale's musical, Show Boat, wherein race is revealed as a set of variegated and contradictory performances, signals to others, a manner of being seen and a manner of remaining hidden, and it isn't "Old Man River".

Music

The Greyboy Allstars Rise Up to Help America Come Together with 'Como De Allstars'

If America could come together as one nation under a groove, Karl Denson & the Greyboy Allstars would be leading candidates of musical unity with their funky new album, Como De Allstars.

Music

The Beatles' 'Help!' Redefined How Personal Popular Music Could Be 55 Years Ago

Help! is the record on which the Beatles really started to investigate just how much they could get away with. The album was released 55 years ago this week, and it's the kick-off to our new "All Things Reconsidered" series.

Music

Porridge Radio's Mercury Prize-Nominated 'Every Bad' Is a Wonderful Epistemological Nightmare

With Every Bad, Porridge Radio seduce us with the vulnerability and existential confusion of Dana Margolin's deathly beautiful lyricism interweaved with alluring pop melodies.

Music

​​Beyoncé's 'Black Is King' Builds Identity From Afrofuturism

Beyoncé's Black Is King's reliance on Afrofuturism recuperates the film from Disney's clutches while reclaiming Black excellence.

Reading Pandemics

Colonial Pandemics and Indigenous Futurism in Louise Erdrich and Gerald Vizenor

From a non-Native perspective, COVID-19 may be experienced as an unexpected and unprecedented catastrophe. Yet from a Native perspective, this current catastrophe links to a longer history that is synonymous with European colonization.

Music

John Fullbright Salutes Leon Russell with "If the Shoe Fits" (premiere + interview)

John Fullbright and other Tulsa musicians decamped to Leon Russell's defunct studio for a four-day session that's a tribute to Dwight Twilley, Hoyt Axton, the Gap Band and more. Hear Fullbright's take on Russell's "If The Shoe Fits".

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews

Features
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.