Song of the Week: The Sidekicks Blend Shoegaze and Punk on “Ode to Jerry”

Three chords, great hooks, and hazy production

July 14, 2019 1:46 pm
The Sidekicks
"Ode to Jerry" is out now on your music platform of choice
Epitaph Records

Cleveland’s The Sidekicks have been cult heroes for many since the release of their 2007 debut So Long, Soggy Dog. They’ve been refining their sound since then, spending abundant time on the road and pondering the mysteries of life as they’ve gone — and challenging what they’ve learned into urgent punk anthems for the 21st century.

Now, they’ve released a new single, “Ode to Jerry,” which was recorded alongside their new album Happiness Hours. Its sound falls somewhere between Creation Records, pop-punk, and the unpredictable soundscapes of No Age. In other words, it’s terrific.

Bassist Ryan Starinsky described the song’s origins in decidedly prophetic terms: “During the recording of ‘Happiness Hours’, Jerry came to me in a dream. There, he gifted me this song to commemorate some rockers who have come before, altogether making me rethink the uncertain realm of death.”

The Sidekicks covered Chris Bell’s “I Am the Cosmos” in 2016, so they’re not exactly strangers to evoking great moment’s from rock’s bygone heroes.

“Ode to Jerry” was recorded at the same time as the band’s new album Happiness Hours, produced by John Agnello. Given that Agnello has worked with the likes of Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr, he’s no stranger to the world of swirling guitars and frenetic drumming, making him an ideal collaborator for these songs.

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