Relient K is a good band and I’m not ashamed to say it. Welcome to another Freegal album review where I tell you all about the totally sweet music you can access with your Caldwell Public Library card. If you’ve never heard of Freegal despite reading all of my reviews, you can learn all about it right here.
Christian Punk seems like a bit of an oxymoron, but this is Christian pop-punk and let's face it, pop-punk is about as dangerous as staying out past curfew or drinking milk that smells a little funny. Yeah, some of the lyrics are cheesy and occasionally preachy, but show me a pop-punk band that’s completely dairy free. I’m not interested in a secular vs. religious music debate because it’s all just music to me. If I can enjoy Black Metal’s sometimes cringey obsession with Satan I can handle a little bit of Jesus music. That said, Relient K’s third album, Two Lefts Don’t Make A Right… But Three Do is a banger of an album that deserves a place in the pop-punk pantheon.
Where to begin? Firstly, the production on this album is totally decent. Everything hits like you want it to on a pop-punk release. Drums are tight and loud, with mellow cymbals and an articulate kick. The bass is tucked into the mix nicely and doesn’t overwhelm the low end. The vocals are upfront and clean with just a little bit of air and the backing vocals are blended nicely. My only complaint is that there isn’t enough guitar! It’s there, and the tone is good, but I need chunkier guitar!
The album kicks off with “Chap Stick, Chapped Lips, And Things Like Chemistry”, an upbeat and inviting opener that sets the overall tone of the record. Bouncy lyrics and classic punk beats speed the track along as singer Matt Thiessen delivers some now hilariously dated lines about using all his “daytime minutes."
“In Love with the 80's (Pink Tux to the Prom)” is another notable track that utilizes an 80’s sounding synth to accompany a very retro, tongue in cheek chorus. The band explores a more dynamic arrangement for this song that emulates the feel of an authentic tune from the era but retains a uniquely pop-punk feel.
The last song I’ll mention is “College Kids." Full of fast paced energy, “College Kids” feels almost prophetic as it tears through the trappings of higher education.
“Someone please save us,
Us college kids!
What my parents told me
Is what I did!
They said go to school and
Be a college kid!
But in the end
I questioned why I did!”
This track is an absolute blast that proves Relient K can rock just as intensely as any of their peers. It never fails to get me pumped up.
If you're looking for a pop-punk group that's goofy, family friendly, but still rockin', look no further than Relient K. Plus, Relient K has released 11 studio albums to date, so if you enjoyed this release there's a lot more to explore!