Maria Mar’s Local Radar: The Careless Kids

It’s about that time again to talk about some local musicians currently on my radar. This week, I am going to talk about a band from Toms River, New Jersey, that is fairly new on the scene. Having been together for not even a year, The Careless Kids are making quite an impact. For a few years now, I have worked with and supported tons of new acts that are just starting out on this journey we call entertainment. As I watch them progress with releases, shows, press, socials and more, I also watch how fragile they can become, especially when first starting out.

So many bands come and go, struggling to find that solid foundation. There are just hundreds and hundreds of groups all battling for the same listener, with hopes that one of their songs will keep an attention span for longer than 15 seconds. The Careless Kids, however, are flying through like a bat out of hell, playing shows, getting added to festivals, and gaining a solid fanbase while doing so. The main thing is they are determined to follow their dreams, and most importantly, enjoy their passion. Like most fresh acts, they are just taking a grassroots approach as their main source of promotion, and look, now they are in The Aquarian Weekly. Hey, after all, if you can do something yourself, it’s very liberating, rewarding, and exciting. Plus, you may have a great band, but if you aren’t willing to put in the time and dedication, along with self-promotion, you will never get anywhere. I am looking forward to getting to know this group a little bit better along with you, so let’s get it cracking.

The Careless Kids are compacted with spectacular musicians named Tess, Jorge, Andrew, Piero and Gilby. Their socials say they started as a band in the winter of 2012, so maybe I am not that far behind the popularity wheel, though I find that hard to believe. They sound like a group that has been established many moons ago, and are veterans in sound. In fact, they only played their first show ever just a few months back. However, let me pour my heart out for a few. The name itself had me at hello. “Careless” is usually something that is negligent, like someone lazy, someone who has been in the same job for 20-plus years, or even a couch potato. These guys, however, are anything but. I first heard of them from a friend who actually “liked” them on Facebook. Of course, with a million other rants, Candy Crush requests and e-card humor, it showed up on my News Feed, so I figured I’d give it a shot.

Now, if you know me at all, you know that I am a firm believer that there is a massive shortage of quality female-fronted rock. Tess, however, is simply an exceptional vocalist who can carry high notes while still conveying heartbreaking vulnerability. A strong voice with good character is always something that the industry needs. To put that into simpler terms, she can go from sweet and melodic to growling with the best of them in no time. She lays it out, plugs it in, and roars. In my honest opinion, she is everything and anything that all those girl singers on Idol, America’s Got something and somewhat repeated stereotypical acts wish they could be but never will be. It’s a stimulating sight to see a sexy, strong-willed woman like Tess doing the rock world proud. She fronts this band impeccably, and the group’s outstanding musicianship is very evident in the crafting of their live videos. (I have yet to see a performance in person, but I will be doing so at the Jersey Shore Music Festival). They have sick guitar breakdowns, and they form quite the fierce assault to your ears.

The Careless Kids crank up the murky drama and sharpen the edges tenfold, almost in heavy territory, yet they keep their tunefulness intact. The drums also add a great rhythm that can easily make you move your feet, head, hands and whatever else it is that you move at a show. They contain all of the proper ingredients to be a notable part of the rock recipe. I also like them because they seem to not be looking at what other acts are doing. They are doing what they want, creating a unique style and genre without trying to sweat out their influences along the way. Some of my personal favorites include “Short And Sweet” and “Molly.” These tracks could definitely make the crossover to radio-friendly territory, so yes, there may be something commercial sounding in the catalogue of The Careless Kids, but trust me, it’s a good thing. You won’t find anything groundbreaking or super experimental within these songs, and that should be taken as a compliment. It’s straight-up, in-your-face rock and roll, and they aren’t trying to be anything other than that. I am anticipating catching their live set, for I am sure videos do not do it justice.

All in all, I am very impressed by The Careless Kids, and I think you should take the time to check them out, for almost every demographic can find something in there to enjoy. You can catch them July 20 at the Jersey Shore Music Festival along with tons of other great local acts. Yes, they are new to the scene, but only measured in time, as their sound is evolving at a rapid pace. If anything, you’ve already read this article and will hopefully remember their name, for anything that can help some unsigned bands is a good thing as far as I’m concerned. I will be back next week with some more local talent; maybe some solo acts, groups, cover bands, who knows! Whatever the Jersey wind blows at me, I will scoop up. Until next week, my friends, keep recording, play some shows, and give supporters of the New Jersey music scene something to talk about!