Kids In Glass Houses, Dirt


The first time I saw Kids In Glass Houses was back in 2007 when they played with Lostprophets and Enter Shikari at the Astoria as part of the NME awards tour. Although I was familiar with their music, it wasn’t until this gig that I began to really pay attention. One more support slot for Lostprophets, appearances at Reading Festival and two headline tours later, the rest is history. I am completely hooked. This is not surprising when you consider how likeable they are; great live sound, enthusiastic stage presence, catchy music and they’re not too shabby on the eye either...As far as debut albums go, ‘Smart Casual’ was a pretty good effort. But I always felt from the beginning that this band had the potential to be a lot better that good, and new record ‘Dirt’ has proven me right. Now it may have a dirty mind, but this album drips of class at every angle.

In a similar fashion to ‘Smart Casual’, the album is opened with the fastest and heaviest song. ‘Artbreaker I’ and ‘Artbreaker II’ work well split up and placed as the introductory and conclusive tracks; they certainly ensure the album starts and ends with a bang. The beginning of the song slightly reminds me of ‘Everyday Combat’ by Lostprophets. By no means could that ever be a bad thing, the fact that they are starting to make songs at the same level as their fellow Welsh predecessors is a compliment in itself. ‘The Best Is Yet To Come’ is the first indication of the DIRTiness that is to follow. ‘Youngblood (Let It Out)’, a song about “getting it on” as vocalist Aled puts it, is probably the strongest song on the album, with its powerful chorus, loud lyrics and that distinguished guitar riff. ‘Matters At All’ and ‘Sunshine’ follow suit, proving to be a really decent rock songs. ‘Lilli Rose’ is most reminiscent of songs from their debut. It has a much poppier edge than all the others and reassures fans that fell in love with their original sound. ‘Giving Up’, a self-explanatory song covering themes of small-town attitudes where lacking ambition is prevalent, “you lie in the grief, you lie in the depression”. It’s a subject that a lot of people can relate to; it’s so spot on that it could even be written about the tiny town I am from. ‘For Better Or Hearse’ is the big party song...a real toe-tapping, sharp, swing number if you can overlook the pun.

I first heard ‘Undercover Lover’ on Radio 1 before I had heard the new album. I recognised Aled’s vocals so I knew it was them but because it’s a lot poppier than anything they’ve done before, I was secretly hoping it wasn’t. It’s a big song but I’m not convinced at just how well it works as a duet with Frankie from The Saturdays. However, there’s no doubt that this will give the song some extra attention and open up a whole new fan base. ‘Maybe Tomorrow’ also features guest vocals, this time from American punk rockers New Found Glory. This one is slightly more convincing. ‘Hunt The Haunted’ returns to familiar KIGH territory. Just like ‘Matters At All’ and ‘Youngblood’, it’s full of up-tempo, pop punk greatness. If it wasn’t for ‘The Morning Afterlife’, it would probably be my favourite. ‘Smart Casual’ didn’t feature any power ballads so I’m really glad they decided to breach into the unfamiliar and do one for this record. ‘The Morning Afterlife’ is a beautifully mastered tale about not taking moments for granted. I love how the acoustic and piano accompanied introduction gradually develops into a compelling ending, lead by Iain’s mighty guitar riff. It’s also refreshing to be able to hear a song that shows off Aled’s voice more and it soon becomes apparent that he is a much better vocalist than he perhaps gets credited for. He also pretty much sums up everything that is wrong with society in one line “When we're full we want to be empty”. In honesty, the first time I heard it I was quite stunned. It’s definitely the song that confirms every member of the band have improved as musicians. The youthful lyrical content apparent on Smart Casual has significantly matured; instead of singing about ‘Dancing All Night’ with ‘Girls’, Dirt approaches a more deep and meaningful tone, covering sombre topics such as depressing small-town attitudes and struggling with the problems that life throws at you.

Dirt may be a huge improvement on their first album, but what they have managed to keep constant is the amount of memorable songs that really stand out on their own. It’s what made their debut such a hit in the first place and it’s going to do even bigger things for this record. It’s obvious that they are in fact aiming for bigger things this time round, it looks like they’ve been taking notes from Lostprophets, Fall Out Boy, Paramore and any other big bands they’ve been on the road with. Their new sound is notably heavier with stadium sized choruses achieved by more dominant guitars, drums and vocals and as a result they have produced a record worthy of selling out big venues. This band were already on their way to becoming one of the biggest breakthrough bands in the U.K, but this record just put them well ahead of any competition.


  1. You are a great writer, I can tell you really enjoy it too. Will check out this band!


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