Div Kid
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Div Kid

Portland, Maine, United States | SELF

Portland, Maine, United States | SELF
Band Rock Pop


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Div Kid effervesces when caution's abandoned"

Div Kid, a bold and fresh-faced Portland purveyor of chuggety pop punk, has just dropped its latest EP, "Colors," a five-song romp through capable if sometimes flat fist-pumpers.

The trio (Ty Drown on vocals and guitars, Matt Shardlow on bass and vocals, and Stefen Samuels on drums) hits its stride in the second track, "Tinted." Samuels swings a lickety-split snare march verse into an anthemic chorus in halftime. Kris Rodgers guests with some nice filler creep-o organ, and Div Kid has coalesced while tumbling forward, a nice style for this heavily crafted style.

The tune has, at times, "Goldfinger" effervescence, which proves the young band is making progress, and is especially promising in a speedy number.

contrast, a would-be single, "Careless Day," for all its big guitar ambition, sounds like it's being read from sheet music. The players are too cautious, trying hard to not mess up their parts rather then emotively exploding together through their art.

Truth is, Div Kid does have to be cautious in its early stages -- not because of a lack of talent, but because it is playing too close to the line of derivative familiar tropes in its writing. And, because it is a trio, the margin for error is paper-thin.

You know how at jam-band shows in college, the songs are expansive and atmospheric? Huge margin for error -- screw up, and it's what your art meant. Div Kid, in the airtight space of the chosen genre, has to be rehearsing 'til the members' hands bleed so they become stronger, faster and 100-percent error-free. They do that, and they'll be chilling with Pete Wentz in no time. - The Portland Press Herald

"Div Kid span the rock spectrum"

Div Kid really should have garnered more attention for their self-titled full-length debut in the summer of 2009. It was a pretty good pop rock record. "Sooner or Later" has a high sing-along quotient, with an air of Joe Jackson, and "Boston" was a cool stretching of boundaries, with a fast twang that showed punkabilly influence.
As a whole, though, it felt like frontman Ty Drown tossing out songs he'd written rather than a band with firm identity.
Colors, the band's new EP, released this Saturday at the Empire, is definitely more tightly focused, which is obviously easier when you limit yourself to just five songs. Here, Drown sticks to a general formula of slightly abstract vocals, in the second person, that coalesce into big and poppy choruses. He's emotional, Drown is, and there's quite a bit about crying and dying and lying, but such is the stuff of love songs and rock and roll.
"Love and Suicide," for example, the album's opener, where Drown is "standing in an awkward feeling." Matt Shardlow's bass in this song, and throughout the album, is mixed to the fore, with tons of body (Shaun Michaud did the recording, Steve Drown the mastering). Listen to it in your car and you might just rattle right off the road. At times, it's like a metal song with a regulator on it, four notes in the low end then jumping up to four notes in tearing guitar.
"Tinted" opens with nothing but bass, but then drummer Stefen Samuels (he was on that Clubber Lang album last week, yes) changes things up with a quick high-hat that lends a ska nod. It's almost a radio rocker like those all-ages band do, but Kris Rodgers's guest turn on Hammond organ adds a classic rock vibe.
But more '80s and '90s than '60s and '70s. "Careless Day" gets close to Van Halen's "Panama" in the guitar, but veers melancholy instead of high-energy vamp. "Breathe It Out" is like the Gin Blossoms' "Hey Jealousy" in the verse before pounding the pre-chorus and chorus as deep into your head as possible (I could have used a little less repetition). "Disintegrate" is a direct descendant of "Sooner or Later" from the last album, but this time I hear more Smithereens than Jackson.
None of which is to imply that Div Kid are overly derivative. They're just a fun rock band who get you thinking about your back catalog. That's a good thing.
Sam Pfeifle can be reached at sam_pfeifle@yahoo.com.
COLORS | Released by Div Kid | with Will Gattis | at the Empire, in Portland | Dec 4 | myspace.com/divkidmusic
CORRECTION The print version of this review mistakenly cited "Panama" as having been written by Def Leppard. - The Portland Phoenix

"Volume, for Div Kid, means amps and creativity are cranking"

Div Kid is a Portland pop/rock three-piece with its heart set right and its eyes on the prize. Creatively, the group is in full fire hydrant mode, churning out track after track in a local studio, with more sessions on the horizon in the fall. Div Kid knows the realistic uphill climb a young band faces, but pushes on knowing it just might hit it at the right time. Connecting with the community, with their heads in the clouds and their feet on the ground, the members bust big guitars, perfecting their pop vision.


Green Day, "21st Century Breakdown"

Eminem, "Love the Way You Lie"

Sidecar Radio, "Hospital"

Regina Spektor, "Eet"

The Beatles, "No Reply"

Van Halen, "Mean Street"

Pearl Jam, "Animal"

The Black Crowes, "Thorn in My Pride"

White Ranger, "Greatestits"

Muse, "Supermassive Black Hole"

GO caught up with Ty Drown (vocals and guitar) prior to the trio's gig opening for Will Gattis at 9 p.m. Friday at the Big Easy in Portland. Find out about the EP, check dates or stream Div Kid at www.myspace.com/divkidmusic.

How did Div Kid come about?

Div Kid started off as a project. I was in L.A. with my old band (The Fizz) and after that fell apart, I contacted Stefen (Samuals, drums) to see if he wanted to start a recording project. We grew up playing music together, so he was my first call. From there, it became more serious once we found a permanent bass player (Matt Shardlow).

As you're recording this EP, are you learning more about the band's identity as time passes? Or did you guys start with a clear vision and the EP is only the execution?

We started out as a four-piece, and about nine months ago we became a three-piece, so things had to change. We like to try new things -- it keeps life exciting. I have massive A.D.D., so there are always 13 or 14 different ideas at once bouncing around in my head. Usually, it comes out all slurred together in a cute little mess. Stefen and Matt come up with their own ideas, clean it up and make it pretty.

You're making a video for "Careless Day." Where and how are you going to distribute it? Does a young band need any and all types of media to generate buzz these days?

Well, does anyone know someone who works for MTV? No? We'll probably do as much as we can on YouTube and other social networking sites to see if we can get it into a pair of million-dollar hands. Yes, a band is one of the hardest ways to make a living, because we are a dime a dozen. A CD has become just a business card. People want a visual too. A band needs to take the next step and make a video too. It will prove that you want it, that you really believe in your art.

How is life as a trio? Do you guys want a bigger sound, or does it help staying lean and mean?

It's more challenging being a trio now. It's much less forgiving. If you mess something up, everybody knows. There's nothing to hide behind. But it would be cool to have a nice B3 organ sound in the mix.

Once the EP is finished, what's next? Traveling the world? A warm-up tour on the local circuit?

We all would love to do a little East Coast tour with a couple local bands for a few weeks. In December, we are going right back into the studio to record six or seven more songs. We have a bunch of material back-logged and want to keep up with it.

What's Div Kid's best memory from 2010 so far?

One of our highlights every year is the annual Rusty Rocket Foundation show, which benefits local music programs and students that are lacking sufficient funds to achieve their potential goals. For me, those values were instilled from my father when I was a kid. I know that when Matt joined the band he was coming from the band State Radio, which has a very socially-minded conscience. He jumped right on board with the idea, and since then it's become a major priority to give back to the community whenever we can.

What Maine musicians do you look up to? With whom would you want to collaborate?

There are so many great musicians in Portland. I personally like to find bands I've never heard of before, like Will Gattis; before a few months ago, I had never heard of him. But after a show we played together, I'm a fan. Great songs! Portland has a big list of hidden gems! Grand Hotel, Tony McNaboe, Holy Boys Danger Club, Brenda, there are so many!

Describe the EP in five words or less.

It's going to be called "Colors" based around emotions, so happy, sad, euphoria, pain, love.
- Portland Press Herald - GO

"Div Kid’s a catchy current sound, right from the past"

Div Kid’s a catchy current sound, right from the past
The Maine Switch

Ask my 15-year-old daughter what “LP” refers to and you might hear liquid propane, because the days of the Long Play vinyl record have long played out. Not to exhibit a lot of geeze factor here, but I feel badly for the new gen kids who have no idea what liner notes are on an album, since even with their great visual acuity, nobody can read the 3-point type of today’s CD jewel case literature.
As a writer, I always envied the Joycean stream-of-consciousness copy that I’d find inside big double LP albums. No fluff pieces, either, as sometimes you’d learn to totally avoid the 5th cut because it’s “as listenable to as a pair of rhesus monkeys doing the nasty in a room full of broken Spode china.”
So when an associate of mine who moonlights as part of a kick-ass rock band asked me to give a listen to their tunes and do ‘em a solid by getting the word out, I had a flashback to those halcyon days and swear to God, the word “groovy” flashed from synapse to neuron in my skull.
Div Kid, so their website (myspace.com/divkidmusic) informs me, was raised from the ashes of The Electric Tigers, The Fizz and a 1982 Ford Pinto. OK, boys, you had me at Pinto. Log on and you’ll hear “Limelight” in the background, which belies the fact, as they maintain, that they’re known for their incredible low energy live shows, often performing on couches or love seats on stage. How’s this for being anti-post modern … it’s got a catchy melody and I can understand the clever lyrics. You can also listen to “Boston,” “Down” and “Sooner or Later.”
They cite their influences as Xanax, light beer, Hot Pockets and giraffes. Well, for me, 3 for 4 ain’t bad stats. Div Kids’ Ty Drown and Jon Valencia share guitar and singing duties and Stefan Samuels, at 48, shows you can still rock semi-hard (you should pardon the expression) behind the double bass pedal. Purportedly independently wealthy Peter Morse hits the bass notes without missing any.
Check out this local treasure on their website or scope Div Kid out yourself on June 2 at The Rochambeau Club in Biddeford when they take the stage at 6 p.m. I’ll be there. But hey, I’m Mr. Liner Note Guy, that’s gotta be good for at least a couple of Hot Pockets and light beers, right? I’ll bring my own Xanax and designated driver. Hold the giraffe.
Steven Steinberg is the creative services director for Nassau Broadcasting Partners. Reach him at ssteinberg@nassaubroadcasting.com.

http://themaineswitch.com/story/view/205/ - The Maine Switch


"Div Kid"- Self Titled - 2009
"Div Kid" - Colors - Fall of 2010

Album and tracks available for streaming and for purchase via MySpace, iTunes or CD Baby. Tracks from the debut album have been played on WCYY - Maine's number one rock station.

check out the video for "careless day" here...




The Band: Div Kid is one of Maine’s newest, pre-eminent rock bands. With its’ unique blend of pop and rock, few bands bring forth the type of songwriting that combines a well-polished sound, and a classic rock sensibility. Whatever the occasion, this band maintains a focus on widely applicable songs, as well as high-energy performances.

Ty Drown: The son of Maine rock legend JD Drown (The Blend), Ty has been surrounded by music his entire life, and has been playing and singing professionally for over ten years. He has toured from coast to coast and played some of the most famous rock clubs in our country including CBGB’s, The Whisky, The Viper Room, The House of Blues (L.A.), and Mama Kin to name a few. He has performed for crowds of thousands, and also claims to have mastered the art of self-satisfaction.

Matt Shardlow: According to the Portland Phoenix, “There aren't too many people who've been around and about the local scene more than Matt Shardlow over the past 15 years.” He has played over 1,400 shows in his career with several bands including musicians from acts such as Zion Train, State Radio, Beyonce, Dispatch, Lady Gaga and Rustic Overtones among others. Matt is generally considered the friendliest and most likable in the band.

Stefen Samuels: Stefen has also been playing in and around Portland professionally for over a decade. He has recorded with various artists and bands including Eldemur Krimm, Carll Wilkinson, Tom Snow, Talking About Commas, The Watermen and Pete Morse. He has been a favored employee at the Drum Shop in Portland as an instructor for nearly 10 years.