The Hudson Branch: World Kid
Literati and musicians alike will love World Kid, by Chicago natives, The Hudson Branch. Unfortunately, much unlike Vampire Weekend’s first release with its relentlessly upbeat deliverance and catchy guitar/drum/bass/orchestra work, The Hudson Branch will have problems appealing to a larger audience.
Like most thinking bands, these mid-west indiosos combine atmospheric ambiance with emotionally aware lyrics. World Kid’s finer tracks work in a seductive almost entrancing schism of intelligent design. This is good. In truth it’s what I tend to look for when buying albums. However, a lack of definitive brand or any recognizable personal touch leaves me wanting more from the Hudson Branch. They’re smart; you’d be hard pressed to find anyone in the know accusing them of being otherwise, and they treat the audience as if we were as well. But they don’t demand anything other than our silent attention. What the record doesn’t do is leave us guessing or play with our intellect. Wisdom cannot be taught, it’s a thing to marvel at with laughter. And in my humble opinion, this pushes the nine, securely mid-tempo tracks of the group’s second album into pedantry.
Neither does World Kid, (the title an homage to the old ‘I’ve burned my passport and declared myself a citizen of the world,’ sentiment) offer much in the doomed method of cataclysmic annihilation we’ve come to anticipate in this advanced year of our Lord 2012. “I said kiss me you’re beautiful, these truly are the last days.” I realize I should brush up on my science and mathematics, but give me heartsparked poetry and intense emphatic melody. It’s finals week and I really can’t be bothered with everything on my plate to consider anything other than the good time bands working the festival circuit this summer after classes let out.
Timing is the most mismanaged asset of World Kid. The weather is warming and so is my blood. The Hudson Branch have released the perfect depths of December album in spring. This doesn’t make any sense to me. I don’t want to be reflective and insightful right now. I want to dance until I fall down. I want to drink and sing and watch them short skirts as they pass by. I want to bullshit with handsome, worldly young men, and tell all my best stories to crowds of raucous strangers. The last thing I want to do is think about my place in the universe or “The Periodic Table of Elegance.” As clever as it may be, while listening to the track I can’t help but wonder what Pete Doherty’s getting into right now. I appreciate the alliteration of “Tread Trample Tremble Trampoline,” while simultaneously running over the chorus line to Deer Tick’s “Let’s All Go to the Bar.”
World Kid is romantic, thought provoking material. The Hudson Branch has a bright future ahead, and I really look forward to watching them mature as a band. I think the breadth of the musicianship featured on this album, along with the opulent, organic lyrics deserves at the very least a listen… just not right now.
MP3: The Hudson Branch “Move Ons”
Buy: iTunes or
The Hudson Branch: World Kid