MEET THE BAND: Shawn Mishak (vocals, keyboards, guitar), Dominic Ricciardi (vocals, keyboards, bass), Jim Beil (drums)
A TEST PROJECT: Kid Tested formed in 2001 and was intended to be a "test project." Mishak says he never would have guessed that it would still be going in 2017. "I've tried to quit Kid Tested a few times, but I kept writing Kid Tested songs," he says. "The current lineup and its continued support and passion for the material has made it possible for me to continue. The band has proved invaluable in keeping me going and producing songs in this vein."
A VARIETY OF INFLUENCES: Mishak says a variety of outside forces, ranging from "moving trucks" to "restless self-destruction" and playwright Tennessee Williams, contributed to the band's new album, Full Moon Canoeing. "I always in jest describe our music as music to build tree forts to," he says. "I say this because I feel in some of the brightest moments of the music, the songs offer a sense of triumph and exuberance that comes from a very primal and childish honesty that I feel is akin to the idea of 'controlled abandon.'"
WHY YOU SHOULD HEAR THEM: The band recorded songs such as "Drawing in the Sand," "Waiting on the Moon" and "Kill Your Head" on quarter-inch reel with Paul Maccarone at his now defunct Zombieproof studios in 2008, and then transferred them to digital and finished recording and mixing at Koss Music Center in Sheffield. The catchy tunes have that lo-fi feel and recall early Guided by Voices and Sebadoh. "Dominic did an amazing job with recording and mixing the album and worked tirelessly with older software to bring these tracks to life," says Mishak. "Mark Klein of Noise Floor Studios mastered our first album and we were so pleased to be working with him again. He is a true visionary and we feel he really understands our artistic goals. I had so much fun with this album, allowing myself to be more open to other and more instrumentation as well as to other artists' participation." Locals Alan Madej and Sarah Nowicki sing backing vocals on some tracks and Cleveland "brass man" Jacob Wynne provided some horn. Mishak also says the band has 11 new songs "in the can," so another studio album is forthcoming.
WHERE YOU CAN HEAR THEM: kidtestedbandcamp.com
WHERE YOU CAN SEE THEM: Kid Tested performs with the Village Bicycle, Listen Little Man and Alan Madej at 8 p.m. on Saturday, July 8, at the Happy Dog.