We all know that kid. The one who's privileged, who had everything handed to him, and whose self-conscious posturing as a devil-may-care rebel only holds until he can't get his double-shot caramel macchiato. A disillusioned, fuzzed-out electro track, Shadows on Stars' "Punk Kids" rails on what Shadows on Stars clearly consider to be the bane of youth existence: young punks.
SoS parodies the glammed-out aesthetic of modern "punk" music ingeniously, compounding upon its persistent electric guitar loop with a tripping kick-snare beat that is half-dubstep and half-pop punk. Brian Vincent—perhaps better known locally as producer Dekk—enters, painting a picture of an ungrateful, privileged punk kid with a rich father and lawyer mother whose overwhelming instinct to rebel against his upbringing has turned him into an obnoxious asshole. No holds barred, really: "you stupid, stupid punk kid!" Vincent and Randa Leigh yell in homophonic anger, her voice rising to a semi-banshee wail. At the core of their frustration, though, is an understanding: the lyrics nod to the inner turmoil today's "punk" feels, owing to familial pressures and conflicting ideals, and the overall sound, while parodying the new-millennium punk copycats we've all heard and hated, is also catchy as hell.
As far as self-conscious odes to self-consciousness go, "Punk Kids" is the pinnacle. Through their parody, Shadows on Stars turns the mirror around so that we can all see the little bit of "stupid punk kid" in ourselves. Sometimes, it's okay to smoke a Kamel Red, shotgun a PBR and then throw the can against the window of a moving car, then go get your nails done. Just don't make a habit of it.