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Haste the Day, Scary Kids Scaring Kids, Drop Dead Gorgeous, & Gwen Stacy 

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Release Date: 2008-01-09

Scan the song catalog of Scary Kids Scaring Kids and you’ll find numerous references to knives, guns, and blood. You’ll find song titles such as “My Knife, Your Throat,” and “A Pistol to My Temple.” But the scariest thing about Scary Kids is not their fondness for weapons or arterial spray, but the relentless, spirit-draining mediocrity of their music.

Their jumbled, clumsy lyrics suggest a sort of generic, radio-ready angst, but don’t offer any cogent thoughts. And their big, bludgeoning mass of power chording quickly deadens the senses, because it’s employed on almost every song (occasionally with a “Lick My Love Pump”-style, pseudo-classical piano prelude) and with so little imagination.

This six-piece band hails from the Phoenix suburb of Gilbert, Arizona, and over the last three years they’ve toured with everyone from Red Jumpsuit Apparatus to Aiden to current tour-mates Haste the Day. Along the way, the sheer density of their sound has surely convinced many listeners that they’re the real thing. The band seems to buy it too, carefully avoiding hooks, melodic spark or inspired turns of phrase, in favor of crunchy compression.

The band’s love for its own heavily amplified stink can best be appreciated in the video for “My Darkest Hour,” when they squeeze themselves into a car in a convenience-store parking lot and jam out to their own song with head jerks and air-drum workouts until a caricature dork forces them to leave. I’m on the dork’s side. Sat, Jan 12, White Rabbit, 2410 N. St. Mary’s, (210) 737-2221.

— Gilbert Garcia

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