I need to start by getting a couple things off of my chest, and if you like them you can keep them, if not you can throw them back at me. Number 1, The Sidekicks are not a punk band. I’m not trying to be negative, or add fuel to the fire of the genre acceptance fight, but there isn’t a single punk lick on the 4 tracks which appear on Grace. I think sometimes when music appeals to listeners who prefer punk music we have to call it punk or else we feel like (for lack of a better phrase) “not repping the brand.”
Number 2, I didn’t like the single at first, which probably has a lot to do with gripe number 1. I took repeated listens, and I actually had to make comparisons to other music that I like in order to help me along. This is something I don’t usually like to do, but on the first two tracks “Grace” and “The Wallflowers” (the first of which also appears on their full length Awkward Breeds) lead man Steve Ciolek vocals bring back fond memories of rocking out to Weezer without River Cuomo’s self loathing lyrics. The next two tracks “The 9th Piece (Alternate version)”, and “Stay” (the first once again appears on their recent full length) have the same type of feeling as Graham Nash’s Songs for Beginners (one of my favourite non-punk albums).
It has been a long time since I have been able to say I liked a different band or album without being able to attach the punk label to them mostly because I feel like it is cheating on my musical love, but sometimes to enjoy good music I have to accept the fact that I can be friends with other genres without betraying the other. With Grace, The Sidekicks have introduced me to a new friend.