It all started with a five-song EP titled Hard Times, the product of eight students of the Merit School of Music in Chicago's West Loop neighborhood. This would be your first indication that the band's members -- most are barely in their 20s -- aren't your average garage rockers. The talented group is professionally trained in the musical arts and the songs on Hard Times are blatant proof. Rhymes and verses from KTD's rapper Vic Mensa met the poppy vocal hooks of guitarist and background singer Liam Cunningham. Influences of blues, jazz and soul music were weaved through the disc's tracks courtesy of Kids These Days' band which includes a keyboard and brass section.
This month, the culmination of Kids These Days' talent, experience and popularity comes to fans in the form of their first full length album, Traphouse Rock. The record was produced by famed Wilco front man and fellow Chicagoan Jeff Tweedy and mixed by former Beastie Boys audio engineer Mario C. Despite the all-star production team, the songs on Traphouse Rock proved that Hard Times was no fluke. The band continues to write aggressive songs softened by graceful composition elements -- all with a groovy rhythm section that wouldn't sound out of place on the dance floor.
Kids These Days rounds out their record release month with an all ages hometown headlining show at the Vic Theater on Saturday, November 24th. Tickets are just $12. The most appealing part about their recent album is that it's completely free and can be downloaded in full on the band's website.