In Rotation: Beat The Smart Kids - Call In SickPhil Collins - March 11, 2015
The debut EP from locals Beat The Smart Kids nicely soundtracks the warmer weather finally rolling into the area. Call in Sick was released right at the end of February, just as Chicago began kicking winter's ass out the door. Ska is happy, summer music and this is straight-ahead bouncy sunny day ska. The band is made up of members of Waste Basket, Still Alive, The Damn Tracks and Indecisives, so they know the genre.
The songs on Call In Sick share a lyrical thematic thread: not knowing something. The first person narrator in the first and third songs lacks certainty. In "Off The Grid," he does not understand why people stay constantly connected to their devices, writing status updates and sending friend requests to strangers. In "Me Vs. Uncertainty," the narrator repeatedly declares "I Don't Know!" For the second song, "Rudie," the lyrics flip to second person and the narrator is very sure that not everyone dressing up as rude boys are actually rude boys and thus they do not know themselves.
Beat The Smart Kids play down in Peoria at Mates Fest on March 27 at Pizza Works. They play good ol Chicago on May 3 at Quenchers with Jacob Horn Trio. Stream Call In Sick below or head to Beat The Smart Kids' bandcamp page for a download, which includes a bonus track.