Jan 23, 2013 10:04 AM WV Sound
Keeping a beat in the Mountain State
Rozwell Kid Packs Powerful Sound
Press play on “New Mexico,” the third track from Rozwell Kid’s The Rozwell Kid LP, and a surprising lyric will crawl through your ear canal with an eerily blunt tone. “I smoked crack on the Fourth of July,” it says. The statement might be true, you’d have no way of knowing, but the line’s actuality matters less than its performance. It’s a moment of simulated honesty in which the author drops the veil, and you’re reminded that sometimes songs are written to just get things out.
As a third of Shepherdstown’s The Demon Beat, Jordan Hudkins has a lot of “things” on his mind. He’s the drummer of one of West Virginia’s more prominent bands with a label behind him and a tour recently wrapped (and let’s not forget a new record), but even while he’s busy he’s made time for his own side project: a power-rock quintet called Rozwell Kid.
Jordan never really intended to perform as Rozwell Kid live. The “band” was originally just him, and he notes that most of the LP was recorded by himself over an extended period of time with help from The Demon Beat guitarist Adam L. Meisterhans. “I just wanted to document the songs that I’d been writing about my experiences ‘on the road,’” Jordan says. “That whole record is basically a Demon Beat tour diary.” The band element came about as Jordan realized there was genuine interest, and he just happened to know the right guys to do it: Andrew LaCara, Adam L. Meisterhans, Devin Donnelly, and Sean Hallock.
The band is loud—especially live. Three guitars ignite the band’s Weezer influenced sound, and Jordan describes this choice being made by a simple question: who wants to play what? The direction works well, pushing a dynamic, rounded style. “It’s pretty cool because when it’s loud, it’s really loud,” he says.
A new Rozwell Kid single was recently released for the February debut of the band’s second record, Unmacho. Titled “Van Man,” the song employs a similar guitar-pulsing style, but there’s something even faster, more ferocious about the track than its predecessor. Distortion dominates a bit more of the mix, and the chorus howls from a unison of vocal mics. It roars, almost, compensating for the “un-manliness” implied by the record’s title.
Jordan says that as he was writing songs for the album, masculinity grew as a theme. Unmacho kept Jordan’s attention as a title for its nonsensical quality, but he later found it to possess some double meaning after a Google search. “It was Spanish for ‘a man’ or something like that,” he says. “I dug that double meaning of either being a man or not macho. The latter of which I feel 95 percent of the time.” He says this second record aims for a darker tone and that recording sessions in Pittsburgh were fast and energized.
Rozwell Kid expects to perform a few shows with the release of the album in February.
You can pre-order Unmacho on Rozwell Kid’s Bandcamp page for $5.