One of the most tenured bands in Greater Lafayette is also one of the most under the radar — and still one of the youngest.
Amuse was formed in the spring of 2001, which puts the pop-punk trio on a short list of local bands to have existed before 9/11. George W. Bush’s first term wasn’t even half over, but bands like Blink-182, Sum 41 and Simple Plan were at their peaks of popularity, which hooked two kids out of Boswell, Ind.
Kaine Gibson (guitar, vocals) and Mike Muse (bass, vocals) were just 12 when they decided to pick up instruments and bang out an energetic yet melodic take on punk rock. Over the years, Amuse has tightened up and has mastered a slick vocal styling that features both Muse and Gibson. Drummer Weston Jordan is a more recent, powerful addition.
Those vocals and guitar chops are evident in Amuse’s second full-length record, “Love Songs for Your Dad,” which was released this fall. Amuse put out “Toshe Station Lot Lizards” back in 2009.
Within the 11 tracks of “Love Songs,” the tunes are meaty enough to clock in at about three or four minutes each.
Green Day fans should go ga-ga for “#Yogo,” which starts off with a classic pop-punk riff before lyrics about fleeting youth kick in. The song speaks to a #hashtag generation that may be coming to grips with getting older for the first time. Adulthood could be rearing its ugly head at any moment. Amuse produced an impressive music video for the tune, which accurately portrays what a small-town Indiana punk band must do to rock out: playing basements and parties. Gibson said the title is a slam on the “YOLO” fad and stands for a lyric in the chorus: “You only got one.”
Album opener “B.J.S” is the most aggressive song musically and features some impressive drumming from Jordan, who lives in Nashville, Tenn. Due to Jordan’s Music City address, Amuse does not often play Greater Lafayette. However, the band tours a few times a year, which has allowed Amuse to play with the likes of The Ataris, Bowling for Soup, MC Chris, and Big D & The Kids Table in cities across the Midwest.
Over the years, Amuse has rocked out numerous venues that no longer exist in Lafayette-West Lafayette like Jester’s, Downtown Records, Skylight Coffeehouse, Riehle Bros. and others. Still, Amuse is extremely young with Jordan only 21 and Muse and Gibson at 23. While being around for more than a decade, the best Amuse music may be yet to come.
Hopefully, Amuse’s “Love Songs” can be heard live to please you and your “Dad.”