Coming up over the Vector Horizon – Video Kids and their debut album release
I stumbled across Video Kids in 2019.. Social Media algos brought me a selection of hilarious music videos and stage events where the Sheffield synthwave duo spent as much time making me laugh as they did impress me with their sounds. So it was with great joy that I discovered Geoff Berkeley and Silvio Estrada released their self titled ‘Video Kids’ album. I took some time this weekend between my busy COVID diary to play thought that album and not only reacquaint myself with some previous releases, but some new and intelligent tracks.
It’s been a few months since the ’synthwave’ scene has bought an album that I have enjoyed on a number of levels.. So whilst the world continues to baffle us all, grab a drink and enjoy a quick Fakeman highlight reel for ‘Video Kids’
The duo’s self titled opening track hits you with the Saturday morning kids tv cartoon vibes. Your favourite super heros are here to fuck shit up and save the day. It’s hugely tongue-in-cheek and doesn’t pretend to be otherwise. Shades of Captain Planet and Ducktails are evident here (never thought I would write that!) and it has great quality and comedy. Where The Midnight took the Saturday morning nostalgic concept and had us yearning for those days, Video Kids opening track makes you wish you were part of their Saturday morning crew. It’s a very smart opening track and can’t help but feel the future holds an equally as great Video Kids super hero t-shirt at the merch table!
Previously released, Vector Horizon is the first of the Video Kids former releases to join the roster of tracks. It’s punchy and fun.
‘Love on Strange Lands’
Opening like the title sequence of a Simpson / Bruckheimer movie, ‘Love on Strange Lands’ invokes images of dusty Cali sunsets and open top drives with Tears for Fears-esque vocals. It feels like a really adult track and a complete juxtaposition to the intro. The synths and sax soar high here and those guitar riffs are sublime.
‘It’s a Feeling’
Another welcome inclusion from the back catalogue, ‘It’s a feeling’ is staple synthwave with some similar sounds and comparisons to Finland’s Freeweights. Which is a compliment from me.
‘Flying To The Night’
80s pop at it’s purest with a French Daft Punk twist. Zero-fucks-given pop.
Video Kids hit rock hair band territory with Dreamworld. Vocals and arrangements akin to Van Halen and Def Leppard are a pleasure to the ears. A real dedication to the bands of the era.
A complete change of pace and style has Video Kids flexing their talents and range. The track takes that French synth sound and adds a slapping vocal.
‘Control Myself’, ‘Melody’ ‘and ‘These Are The Nights’
3 solid album tracks that would translate very well live.. They have an originality that shines through these tracks that are legitimately Video Kids. The homage tracks are great fun but I welcome what is becoming an original sound with these twilight tracks of the album.
‘Night Flight to Miami’
The album closer.. Tech Noir beats. The most serious track of the album left to the end. It feels different to the rest of the album in tone, pace and delivery however it’s a welcome addition that shows the group don’t need the top line to bring a track together. Like ‘Love on Strange Lands’, it’s an adult synth track that would be welcome in any story arc of a hero or protagonist in 80s cinema.
With their debut album, Video Kids deliver a fresh and legitimately 80s piece of work that is a love letter to the era. There are high levels of stylistic homages to big 80s bands and styles, but if anything, it shows the duo’s range and producing ability.
‘Video Kids’ by Video Kids is out now and you can grab it here.
Now you’ll need to excuse me.. I have to return some videotapes.