Clint Baker (vocals, guitar)
Dustin Stroud (lefty guitar, vocals)
Mark Johnson (bass)
Dave Keel (drums)

For more information, check out a Riddlin' Kids Interview

The Austin-based Riddlin' Kids are riding a Texas-sized punk-rock maverick mustang of a sound that's bucked the local tide of blues-rock, cowboy-boogie, and Top 40 cover bands while cracking the asphalt of their hometown's fabled Sixth Street strip (a world-renowned Mecca for live music) and never once bowing to the golden calves munching cud in today's mall-core punk-lite scene. The Riddlin' Kids, four young fired-up energy balls, are spearheading a spotlight-free underground movement that sports Vans' classics rather than rawhide boots, prefers 360° skateboard aerials over an eight second ride on a mechanical bull, and, when it comes to nightclubbing, would much rather slamdance at Emo's than cry in the blues at Antone's.

The Riddlin' Kids' Lone Star twist on pop-driven punk is revved up and ready to ignite the rock world on the group's rookie LP Hurry Up and Wait on Aware/Columbia Records. The players--Clint Baker (vocals, guitar), Dustin Stroud (lefty guitar, vocals), Mark Johnson (bass), and Dave Keel (drums)--are locked and loaded with songs bursting shotgun-style with alt rock's monster melodies and the street vitality of classic punk.

Produced by Paul Ebersold (3 Doors Down) at Memphis' legendary Ardent Studios (Big Star, Replacements), Hurry Up and Wait balances sincere confessions of love's idealistic innocence ("See the Light," "Faithful") with sarcastic odes to dating ("Here We Go Again," "I Feel Fine," the album's first single) for a generation raised on "American Pie" (the coming-of-age teenage film comedy, not the Don McLean chestnut). Hurry Up and Wait also features a rocket-fueled take on REM's "It's the End of the World (And I Feel Fine)" and a forward-fighting approach to self-esteem issues with "Wasted Away." Regarding "Here We Go Again" (mixed by Tom Lord-Alge), Clint remarks, "The song is about the worst ex-girlfriends that Dustin and I had. We combined the funniest elements from the two girls into one single crazy psycho making her as ridiculous as possible." (Despite the exaggerations, Dustin's ex immediately knew the song was about her).

Riddlin' Kids prefaced Hurry Up and Wait with the five song EP, Any Day Now, which sold huge numbers off their merch table each night as the group played the support slot on the Crouching Fish/Hidden Finger tour (featuring Goldfinger and Reel Big Fish). The Austin anarchist's raucous live show and sex-waxed recordings roped in a stampede of new fans. More than anything, though, the new Riddlin' converts marveled at how the band's inspired songwriting proved equally impressive both live and on disc.

Dustin remarks, "We are not a shtick band. We are all about songs, and when it comes to live performances, we play like it's the last show we'll ever do. We win people over because our music comes across as real."

Founding members Clint and Dustin--who had met and become friends while working as employees at the same pizza joint--quit their respective prior bands the same week and launched a fledgling group they first dubbed "Igmo" (derived from "Ignorant Motherf***er"). Inspired by their own hyped-up stage antics, they decided to re-christen the group with a name lifted from a psychostimulant drug used to treat hyperactive children, later deciding to modify their name to "Riddlin' Kids" to avoid possible legal entanglements. Following the name change, Riddlin' Kids released their 500-copy limited-edition debut EP, What Does It Matter, on KYQ Records, who also loaned the group a van to tour the East Coast. In the wake of the EP's release, they solidified their line-up by pulling seasoned rock drummer Dave Keel from his food service job at Stars Café and later bassist Mark Johnson from his gig as a YMCA youth counselor.

As momentum built, Riddlin' Kids accelerated to full-throttle prominence on the underground party-punk scene securing support slots for such luminaries as the Ataris, Newfound Glory, Voodoo Glow Skulls, Good Riddance, Fenix TX, and the BossTones. Clint and Dustin, by then working at rival pizza joints, began working 50 hours a week to cover the $6000 recording budget for a new 5-song demo. It was songs from this demo that made the group a hit on KROX's top-rated "Like It or Spike It" radio show in Austin, eventually moving them into official rotation and earning a spot on the station's Top 50 yearend playlist. Major support slots followed, as the fired-up foursome began sharing stages with acts like Staind, Newfound Glory, Voodoo Glow Skulls, Good Riddance, Fenix TX, the BossTones, and the Ataris, in addition to performing at the Gravity Games and repeat appearances at the local career-breaking Warped Tour stops. As evidenced by their "Best Alt Rock/Punk Band" trophy win at last year's Austin Music Awards, Riddlin' Kids clearly had the power to give the 512 area code a place of prominence in the punk rock yellow pages.

Hurry Up and Wait illuminates the post-punk path to higher artistic plateaus while resonating with a vibrant vigor that pumps up fans like a crazed caffeine overdose. The crash 'n' crunch of simple three-chord punk energy is infected with a new rock-oriented power-pop sound that elevates the form and underscores the art. With so much breakout buzz surrounding their new album, Riddlin' Kids will keep shattering Lone Star stereotypes until Austin gets its own chapter in the Punk Rock Britannica.

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