Weird Kids is Poughkeepsie locals We Are The In Crowd’s first release since 2011’s Best Intentions, and it couldn’t be further from the definition of a sophomore slump. The highly anticipated record sees a change in sound from the band’s previous work, as they seem to have transitioned from happy-go-lucky pop rock to revenge-driven pop punk – and it’s certainly something that works to their advantage. A rockin’, enjoyable album, Weird Kids is likely to keep you on your toes. Plus, it seems like the ideal record to listen to when pissed off…

The album kicks off on a softer note with ‘Long Live The Kids’, which is clearly an anthem dedicated to anyone who needs a pick-me-up. The line “Hang on, be strong” sticks out to be a message of encouragement and is quite frankly the perfect thing to start off a collection of songs which are more or less for the fans. We Are The In Crowd have never headlined a full tour in the United States but through a series of support slots and headline tours here in the UK (plus a couple support slots too!), as well as tours all over the world, they have managed to cultivate a devoted fanbase despite only having material from one album to play live – with the fans probably more than a little bit excited for this new release!

If it’s a taste of the past you’re looking for, ‘Remember (To Forget You)’ is sure to be a favourite with its catchy hook that puts it up in the ranks with past hits ‘Rumor Mill’ and ‘Kiss Me Again’, and is the one song on this album that sounds like it could have been on Best Intentions. Borrowing the line “All my ex’s live in Texas” from George Strait’s eponymous hit to start off the song, this track actually begins rather poppy but soon shifts into that good old We Are The In Crowd sound that everyone is familiar with.

Final track ‘Reflections’ sends the album off with a bang, featuring a strong bass line that rivals the likes of early 2000 punk rock bands such as Midtown and Brand New, and the driving sound of pure rock which leaves a lasting impression. It’s not exactly the opposite from what fans might expect, but it’s definitely a little heavier than the band’s older material which is actually a good thing; it proves that We Are The In Crowd have done some growing up in the past two and a half years.

Anyone who thought We Are The In Crowd were a diet version of Paramore are proven nothing but wrong by Weird Kids, as it shows that this is a band with good bones and ambition who have written and recorded an impressive second album that is sure to go down well when they embark on their UK and Ireland tour next week.

[rating: 4.5]

Weird Kids is available on iTunes from 17th February. Until then, check out their video for ‘Best Thing (That Never Happened)’ below.