Album Review: KID DAD – In A Box

German alt rockers release their debut album this Friday. 

In A Box presents KID DAD unleashing their brand new music onto the world. As one of the most promising new rock acts coming out of Germany, the Paderborn natives truly deliver on their debut record. Fatherhood looks good on them.

Released on 21 August via Longbranch Records, In A Box was fuelled by songwriting trips to England, China and Switzerland, as well as much time spent in Berlin. Regarding the experience of recording over a prolonged period of time, Marius says “I really enjoyed working with so many different setups. You absorb everything when you’re young – I want to take advantage of that.”

In A Box is ambiguous,” he continues, musing on the album’s title. “Is the box your prison or your hiding place? Do you get claustrophobic when you think about sitting in a noiseless, random, dark box or do you even wish to be in such a place? People cannot be divided or sorted by this question. It is the moments, the feelings, the actions that make everyone react and feel differently. Torn between fear and longing, we tell each of you what we feel and how far-reaching those feelings are within this album.”

The grungy vocals and fuzzy, electronic guitar flow like a river through the record that on the outside very much bursts of clear melodies and upbeat riffs, whilst lyrically it’s lonesome central. Lead singer Marius’ vocals leaves the listener emotionally drained, in a good way.

The hook-laden single A Prison Unseen kicks off the record after a 20-odd second intro, launching straight into their huge sound that demands to be heard by the world and rips you right into the depth of KID DAD. Says vocalist and guitarist Marius Vieth “‘A Prison Unseen’ is about loss of control and a lack of self-restraint that can be invisible to the world around you. The protagonist puts his threatened mental well-being over his physical body and embraces the possibility of an utter loss of his senses.”

In A Box is about anxiety, euphoria, finding yourself, and dealing with the overwhelming feeling of existence. The epic choruses are what shine the brightest on the album, on tracks like Limbo and (I Wish I Was) On Fire. It’s the combination of slow and eerie verses and big-sounding, anthemic choruses that seem to be where KID DAD have found an impressive formula.

What You Call A Dream showcases the band’s love for playing with clean and distorted melodies, the songs powerful and energetic riffs also show off their heavier influences. Whilst the following Window is much poppier with more early 2010’s indie sounds. Similarly, Naked Creatures, draws from that indie incluence as well. Guitarist and vocalist Marius Vieth says of Naked Creatures “I wrote this song two years ago while I was spending some very calm and therapeutic time in Switzerland. I cut myself off from the world around me and cocooned myself in my great uncle’s organ room. The song plays on two extremes – introvertism and etxtrovertism – we have always combined these two elements, but never to this extent.”

A heavy dose of emo was added to The Wish Of Being Alone, and no it’s not just in the title. The whaling guitars, desperate vocals and gloomy bass are a mix that would make Frank Iero envious. And if you thought the record would leave you on an anthemic high, you are sorely mistaken. Leaving on a high, yes, but a very dismal, grey hill of emo greatness.

In A Box reminds of early Placebo, that whilst it was perfect for all us emos at the time, was not something the world was ready for. Now that we’ve all been stuck “in a box” for a few months, and the world is more gloomy, KID DAD have found the perfect time to release their sound to the world. And the world will have quite a hard time escaping the grasp of KID DAD’s In A Box – because it had us hook, line and sinker from first listen.