The two-man band of guitarist Darren Jackson and drummer Ian Prince actually hail from Minneapolis (kind of like how Fargo mostly takes place in the Twin Cities), but there’s a definite ‘western echo’ to their sound, driving down the windswept plains. While generally good, sometimes the duo can get a bit too grand, dragging things out to an ‘are we there yet?’ degree.
For their upper Midwest heritage, the Kids have two songs that are specifically Big Apple, “New York System” and “Port Authority”. These two maybe best exemplify the dual sides of this record: “New York System” opens Shadow strong, with a pressing, haunting drive that also has a hook, but the grand “Port Authority” just goes on and on (kind of like a bus ride). In between falls expansive single “Stars”, but it’s really overshadowed a bit by “System” and the driving alt-road guitar and tempo of the following “Chutes and Ladders”.
Even with “Port”, Shadow begins on a high note, and then veers more alt-country in the middle with the twang & swoon of “Transfusion” and world-weary sadness of “Puffy Jackets”. But from there, things get just a bit too slow. “Of Age” has a nice haunting echo, and “Downhill” a good county-guitar sustain, but the guitar-rock grind of “Long Odds” is kinda boring, and “Fallout” is too preening and ‘special’ (though does have a nice touch underneath it all).
Kid Dakota will be touring the wide-open west with fellow Vikings fan Cloud Cult (QRO album review) in May, before heading off to northern Europe. Their sound should fill any space, just as long as they don’t take to long in getting there.
MP3 Stream: "New York System"