By: Derek Spencer
Nu-metal mavens and Maple Grove Battle of the Bands 2013 Winners Kittyjangles come bearing gifts. More than just a debut EP, Wake Up, Garth! is complete with excessive use of vocoder, entire tracks devoted to inside jokes, and a lead singer literally named “Chaos.” Open-string metal riffs bleed into major key pop-punk melodies in whatever fashion is the opposite of “seamlessly” as the three-piece laugh their way to whatever the equivalent of a bank is for children from Minnesota making music for free.
The first half of Wake Up, Garth! demonstrates Kittyjangles’ lyrical versatility as members sing about complicated familial relationships (“sticks and stones may break my bones but father never beat me ” “you want your money/ I want my daddy to die”) and moan the words “pain is love” over a sick breakdown– the chorus to what I can only assume is their lead single (on the second chorus they change “pain is” to “penis”– yes, I am sure). Listeners are even treated to a soft-jazz interlude, complete with a brief bell solo.
Starting with track 6 (Dreaming in a Jar), the playful immaturity of act I is abandoned in favor of a far more melodramatic form of teenage expression. Summoning comparisons to late My Chemical Romance, Kittyjangles makes the decision to evoke musical themes like “Circus” and “being lonely.” In spoken word, Chaos explains:
“Lonely people wander the world,
Wondering who they are, who they were,
Who they’re supposed to be,
And who they were in the past.
But you already know it’s going to be a party.
It’s going to be a blast.”
The album climaxes on standout track Animal Rights, which sits somewhere comfortably between a parody of rap-rock and a System of a Down b-side. To Kittyjangles’ credit, this track demonstrates a melancholic truth: engaging wholeheartedly with histrionics and outdated cliche musical styles can occasionally result in mildly listenable music.
The end of the album mirrors its tasteless conception as Herp-a-derp assails language itself with lyrics just as sophisticated as one might guess. This song bears a functional resemblance to the “trololo” song, subsequently inciting a profound listener’s remorse and a desire to stop thinking about Kittyjangles immediately.