Down The Drain
Find The Light
120 copies on black vinyl
200 copies on orange vinyl
116 copies on crystal clear vinyl
21 test pressings on back vinyl
release-date: May, 24, 2013
Mission Viejo's Kid Armor set out in 2010 to put straight edge back on the map in South Orange County. With a sound inspired as much by 80s hardcore (Gorilla Biscuits, Minor Threat) as by the punkrock legacy of their area (Adolescents, Agent Orange, Fear), the band started playing around and released a first demo in the beginning of 2012. After more gigging and some line-up changes, Kid Armor entered the studio again in December 2012, to lay down 10 new songs. Commitment Records now releases seven of these songs on the classic 7” format. Powerful, heavy, energetic and intelligent lyrics that reflect on the importance of a drugfree lifestyle and on the hardcore scene in general. The record comes on black, crystal clear (mailorder/band only) or (of course!) orange vinyl, with artwork done by Javi.
BANG STYLE Webzine, USA
The band’s new album Better Days may take a firm straightedge approach (as if there were any questions after opener “X’s”), but that doesn’t mean there isn’t fun to be had. Even within that song the band shows off its love of guitar solos that are very un-hardcore. Oftentimes, what makes Better Days more enjoyable than some of its counterparts lay in the fact that it’s more hardcore-rock’n’roll rather than rock’n’roll hardcore. They band has largely left the chugga-chugga at the door in favor of a hard-as-nails tenacity that usually is in and out in under two minutes. “Find the Light” and “Jackhammer Solution” offer up that classic late-80s hardcore ideal that you can’t help but love. Despite being preachy (then again, it’s straight-edge hardcore, so what did you expect?) Kid Armor manages to make Better Days rather enjoyable. It’s not going to forge a new path for the genre, but it does something just as needed at the moment: getting it back to its roots.
MASS MOVEMENT webzine, UK
Interesting how one’s environment can leave quite a distinctive mark on art – in this case music. Kid Armor are a hardcore band, influenced by, I feel, mainly Gorilla Biscuits, with the typical driving vocals and riffs. However Kid Armor lives in an area known for some amazing punkrock bands; Adolescents to mention one. Now you know where this is heading, and yes, ‘Better Days’ is a perfect mix for both worlds, both coasts and both genres. The common thread is however the drive, and the will to fight the demons of alcohol, drugs and cigarettes as amazingly portrayed on the cover. Such an amazing high energy hardcore release. Who needs drugs when this healthy kick is just waiting to be picked up.
STAY COMMITTED Blog, The Netherlands
Are you done with a lot of new hardcore bands? Are you done with all the chugging riffs and the endless breakdowns? Are you feeling a bit nostalgic? Wishing you were born in the 80’s so you could go and see all the cool hardcore punk bands that no longer exist? Well than you feel pretty much like me. So once in a while you find a new band that satisfies all those feelings. A band like Kid Armor. They’re a hardcore band from Orange County trying to get Straight Edge back on their map. Started in 2010 and released their first demo in 2012 they now released a new record called Better Days and it will be out on Commitment Records. Yes you’ve got that right the same record lable that released xCURRAHEEx so you’ll know what’s up.
The record starts of with ‘X’s’. And of course it’s an anthem about Straight Edge. The energetic punk rock filled hardcore Kid Armor plays spits at you in a high tempo and will get you moving. Lyrics like “Straight Edge isn’t for the weak” and “POP. SNORT. BREATHE. DRINK. The more you fill you body up. The more you feel empty.” will be awesome to sing along and get you all pumped up. Second song ‘Down The Drain’ is another energetic and fast paced song but also makes room for some slower moments which is never a bad thing. Lyrically Kid Armor isn’t that complicated but they don’t have to. Their a band made for shouting out loud and singing along. Not to mention they have a very clear message, so why complicate that? The simplicity reminds me of Youth Crew bands, it’s just straight in your face, no nonsense. ‘Temper’ feels a bit more variated and complicated than the last two tracks which keeps it fresh. The ending sample from ‘You’re so vain’ just makes it perfect. A good placed sample can really get me smiling. Fourth track ‘Find the Light’ is about somebody who fucked up big time. And needs to take back control. It’s a hard hitting track with lyrics that’ll impact like a bomb. The fact that they used a sample from my favorite show ‘The Walking Dead’ makes it even better. I’m not going to mention the fifth track ‘F.A.S.’/’Sellout’ because it’s just a few seconds shouting ‘Don’t forget your promise’.
Sixth song ‘Jackhammer Solution’ is another fast song with a high level of punk. The second screams supplementing the main vocals are a nice added touch. They’re on the record quite a few times but in this song they really pop up. ‘Pound’ is a slow song which is refreshing to hear from Kid Armor. The fast punky riffs are now just slow and hard hitting hardcore riffs and even has a Judge sort of vibe. I think this is easily my favorite track on the record so far. Because it’s so powerful, just take a look at some of the lyrics “If our legacy’s determined by choices that we’ve made, you’re ever-changing moral code has crowned you as a “F A K E”. Cause respect flows not from fountains, but is nurtured like a son.Your “choices” once called “promises” have all but come undone”. Isn’t that just perfect? ‘Side Effects’ pick up the pace again, The hardcore method of question and answer is used in this song (you know the vocalist shouts something, and the rest of the band react on it with group shouts) and it’s a method I really dig. There’s even a moment of rest in the song where the guitars dim down and the vocalist almost talks but it’s just to build up to the ultimate climax of the song. It’s a nice touch. I mean it could go very wrong, but luckily for KXA it didn’t. Ninth song is the title track of the record ‘Better Days’ it has a mid-pace and uses the backing screams again, also some added group shouts. It’s a mix of everything you’ve heard so far on the record and that’s quite expected from a title track. In my opinion the song is a little to short. I mean all of their songs are short and usually I like that better than songs that go on for 4 minutes, but this track could’ve been a bit longer. We end this record with ‘Bad Intentions’ and with it’s energetic drums, punk guitar riffs and youth crew mindset it’s the perfect ending to a great hardcore record. The break in about 2/3 of the song is really awesome and the group shouts at the ending make this track very noteworthy. It really feels like the band was having fun with this track.
Kid Armor amazed me with this record. It feels like a Youth Crew revival band that is flirting with a punk rock act. This record will be a must for every kid that wished he lived in the 80’s. And still this record sounds so 2013. They’ve found the perfect balance between old and new. This is really a record that will be in my playlist often and I recommend this to every hardcore kid. For fans of: Gorilla Biscuits, xCURRAHEEx, Tight Grip, Big Mouth, Always Try, Life For A Life, Youth Of Today, Feral Youth, Truth Inside and Punk rock.