No doubt my all-time favorite Kansan is Fatty Arbuckle—sorry Kirstie Alley. However, my fave Danger Pop outfit from the Sunflower State has to be Lawrence's own Rooftop Vigilantes. "Naught But Coco" kicks off the jams on the band's newest with the jangles of dirty guitars and drums that itch to stomp guts and kick butts. Tension reigns throughout the pre-chorus and chorus as vocals and keys spread joyful hum-a-long sounds juxtaposed against well-timed scream-shouts. Catharsis arrives at 67 seconds as the band seamlessly shifts from golden-throated harmonies to frenetic drumming and shrieking voices. Ninety-one seconds of heaven (just like in high school).
Pull the "Palisades Park" keyboards from "Kitty Vacant" and you got yourself a fine-ass '80s hardcore jam—for the first 18 seconds anyway. The band transitions delicately into a catchy-as-an-infield-flyball breakdown. The outro cruises into an extended—for this band—set of "woo-oohs" that make you forget about face-punching your non-sidewalk shoveling neighbor. Now let's put it on repeat and pogo together.
Rooftop Vigilantes makes spry anthems happen again and again. And it's irksome that this kind of band doesn't get famous and that other kinds do. But, like they say in Kansas: ad astra per aspera.
Rooftop Vigilantes plays the Palace Thursday, Jan. 6, at 9 PM with Magpies and Bird's Mile Home. $5.