Young Olympians, the second release from Annapolis, Maryland-based foursome A Perfect Kiss, is hefty package. With 12 tracks clocking in at over an hour, the album is a full-on investment for the listening ear. A Perfect Kiss moves in the clichéd, played-out direction of post-hardcore vocally and lyrically, while their crushing melodies and knack for some serious texture save them from them being pigeon-holed as what was last year’s big thing.
Each track begins in as a singular unit; sometimes it’s with cheer and handclaps (“D-Up!”), other times it’s with the grace of effect-laden guitars (“Ashes.”) By the middle of each intensely long track, A Perfect Kiss’s sound comes together to form something so colossal it’s almost overwhelming. While the band states influences ranging from traditional punk to classic rock, much homage is paid to the early and mid-nineties “alternative” sound. The opening track, “Bottom of the Sunrise,” echoes like a Smashing Pumpkins outtake session, with drummer Scuba Steve sounding as if he is directly channeling Jimmy Chamberlain in his prime.
Artful but not overdone, A Perfect Kiss blends and blurs beautifully orchestrated guitars and synthesized sounds, creating a torrential album of gorgeous music. Encompassing the honesty and kindness of The Anniversary and burying it between the dramatic screams of The Bled, A Perfect Kiss shows a smartness in their task. Long but not drawn-out, Young Olympians is an album of many angles with a sound that just may survive a long over trend.