It can be easy to underestimate Residual Kid. With a median age of thirteen, the Austin trio could be overlooked as an after-school diversion for teenagers, but that’s not the case. They’re serious about their songwriting and craft, and over the past few years they’ve burned through the local scene like wildfire.
Residual Kid formed after a chance meeting between brothers Max and Ben Redman and Deven Ivy at a rock camp in 2009. After a few years on their own, the trio met Grace London, and everything changed. London’s songwriting and Debbie Harry-like vocals balanced out the boys’ penchant for classic rock covers, and in 2011 the band released Box, their debut EP. One of the EP’s songs, the powerful London-penned “Can’t Take Me Away,” made its way onto a 20/20 episode that tackled teen bullying, giving the local band a national audience.
But soon after the episode, London decided to part ways with the group and pursue her own career. The boys eventually regrouped to soldier on as a trio again, with Ivy handling most of the vocal duties. After a year of hard gigging, the band released the EP Faces late last year, and it finds Residual Kid confidently moving into their own sound. They’re heavier than ever, drawing inspiration from hard rock and grunge while delivering some high-flying melodies. “Friend” is an especially potent cut off the EP, but it’s good in spite of the band’s young age–not because of it.
You can catch Residual Kid this Saturday at Cheer Up Charlies as a part of MapJam 2013, a daylong festival celebrating Austin music. Presented by the Austin Music Map, KUTX, and the City of Austin Music Division, MapJam 2013 features some of our favorite local bands at some of our favorite local venues, playing everything from bluegrass to hip-hop and conjunto to rockabilly. You can find more information here.