Wides and Second Hand King @ Mills Record Company

It’s seldom that two bands that differ so much on the surface fit together as well as WIDES and Second Hand King. The latter prefers more controlled jazz-kissed hip hop, and the former is wild and noisy. That said, there’s some je ne sais quoi feeling that links the two acts. It could be their upfront rawness, or their ability to drag any listener into their sonic spirals, or the minor truths they hide in their forms. Whatever it is, both WIDES and Second Hand King will come together this Friday for a pretty incredible in store.

WIDES has all the grit of a punk band, all the slick synths of an EDM outfit, and all the progressions of a pysch rock experience. The Lawrence band seemingly collages their interests into a single, driving force. Both of their singles, “Day1″ and “Day2,” bloom with long lasting hooks, overdriven saws, and roiling percussion. A mix of Tortoise, Refused, and Holy Fuck!, WIDES’ music is filled to capacity with sound. And the trio absolutely tears up the stage. Whether the band is skating down a distorted bass groove or letting noise overtake their rhythms, WIDES focuses on immersing their audience in their sound.

It’s rare that I encounter music that that is as compelling as WIDES. Both “Day1″ and “Day2″ have a passion to them that pushes them past genre. The trio might not be the most controlled in terms of structure, but their energy and ability to let their feedback-fueled electro-punk guide them through their songs is more than enough. Keep an ear on WIDES, they might be your new favorite band.


Joining WIDES will be Second Hand King. Eschewing noise for clean cut samples and beats, Second Hand King distills all his passion into his phrasing and arrangements. While the Kansas City rapper’s instrumental tracks are full of tension, his raps give them a dimensionality. Each track on his last album, Almost Blue, use this dimensionality to give his lyrics a polysemy on par with St. Vincent and Kool A.D.

But more than word tricks and linebreaks, Second Hand King fills his songs with raw honesty and a visceralness that is universal. Whether the rapper focuses on the macro (“When you become a number, you become faceless”) or the micro (“What’s my worth? Am I a liar trying to succeed?”), Second Hand King gives a care to his words that is second to none. In all of his lyrics, there is no dead space, no empty signifiers. All that said, beyond his words, Second Hand King’s songs spin with an immediacy that is undeniable.

Whether you’re a fan of proggy electro-punk or jazzy hip hop. WIDES and Second Hand King will put on a show for you this Friday. Even if you are not yet a fan of these genres, you should check out these two acts–they’ll win you over, I promise.

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