Cautiously Optimistic

Fifteen Hopefuls Make Up Austin's Musical Class of 2001

Cautiously Optimistic
Photo By Todd V. Wolfson

Riddlin' Kids

Title: Hurry Up and Wait

Label: Aware/Columbia

Release Date: March/April

Who?: Formed in 1997 under the more lawsuit-friendly Ritalin Kids moniker, they're a fourpiece playing what guitarist/vocalist Clint Baker calls "straight-ahead pop-punk."

The Kids' 1998 indie EP earned them a solid following in Austin punk circles, but their break from obscurity followed last year's decision to pour every dime they had into a meticulously produced and almost-major-label-sounding six-song demo.

It worked: After 101X added "Blind" to its regular playlist, major labels were calling quicker than you can say Dynamite Hack. Of their decision to sign to grassroots Columbia subsidiary Aware, Baker says, "We always saw ourselves recording for an indie punk label, so we were comfortable with something small. We liked that these guys could offer us the attention of a small label with major-label backing."

What to Expect: Recorded September 2000 in Nashville with Paul Ebersold (Sister Hazel, Three Doors Down) producing, the LP features all six songs from the demo plus a handful of newer songs. Tom Lord-Alge (Blink-182, Hanson) may mix a trio of potential radio singles.

Where to Find Them: After returning to the studio this month to record two additional songs, the Kids will head out to play for whoever will have them. "We don't care if it's for underground punk fans in clubs or in front of more mainstream pop kids opening for someone else." Baker says. "We still just want to get in front of as many kids as possible, [only] now we'll be fortunate enough to do that without sleeping on couches and losing money. We figure we're just lucky to have the chance."

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