Music to Practice Safe Sex to
by Pool Kids
released July 13, 2018
Rarely does a young group emerge so deliberately with a debut record as intimate and declarative as Music to Practice Safe Sex to. But Tallahassee math-rock group Pool Kids have done so with blunt tact and precision.
Harkening back to math-pop heyday heroes like Colour and TTNG, this Floridian quartet blends raw, punkish emo with crafty maximalism and catchy hooks. Guitarist, singer, and principle songwriter Christine Goodwyne has a distinct skill for composition that jerks loquaciously between concision and bombast. “Overly Verbose Email Series pt. III” opens the album with a confessional intimacy that cuts no corners in its candor, effectively setting up a thematic standard of honesty that permeates the entire record.
Each song is an anthem for itself and its own subject matter or history. Acoustic number “Patterns” reflects on the enrapturing, hateful religiosity that can easily consume your upbringing in the South. But in those reflections Pool Kids triumph in squashing toxicity with the cathartic, awe-inspiring beauty of their music.
Equally powerful are Christine’s matter-of-fact statements about her social responsibility to those who have depleted her without remorse. In lead single “Erso” she rejects the emotional labor requested of her, singing “I’m not gonna be your feminine vessel to pour into anymore.” In so declaring, she reclaims her rightful agency, empirically defining a better world for herself and her peers.
While much of the record’s substance pertains to earnest, serious matters, Pool Kids display a compositional knack for turning the dark into light. Bassist Nicolette Sara Alvarez and drummer Caden Clinton uplift and empower the listener through playful, inventive songwriting and cadence, establishing what is one of the strongest rhythm sections in the genre. All told, this debut record simply exceeds expectations and handily shatters illusions.
Music to Practice Safe Sex to is now available on all digital platforms.
Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Lon Beshiri
Art by Olivia Tinnin