Jenny Williams
March 05, 2004 AT 05:00 AM EST

Vagrant owes its pop-punk pedigree mostly to this energetic Kansas band, so imagine the surprise (disappointment?) when ”On a Wire”’s mellow, introspective tunes whimpered into stores in 2002. Now that their ”growth” CD is out of the way, the Kids are back to their playful selves with Guilt Show, which counters adult reflection with bubbly keyboards. Standout track: ”Is There a Way Out.” Dark but guitar-driven, it proves ”Wire”’s soft sentiment might have worked better with a little more hard rock.

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