Relient K is a band, founded in 1998 in Canton, Ohio, although their first full-length album was released in 2000. Starting out, they possessed a distinctly punk-pop sound and have a penchant for quirky lyrics, puns, and, early on especially, pop culture references. These days their sound is folk-alt-rock-punk-something
blend. Current members are comprised of Matthew Thiessen (vocals, guitar, and piano), Matthew Hoopes (backing vocals, guitar), John Warne (more backing vocals, bass), Jon Schneck (guitar, banjo, bells, yet more backing vocals), and Ethan Luck (drums, and yes, even more backing vocals). They are a Christian Rock
band, although not always explicitly so.
Relient K contains examples of:
- Age Progression Song: "Deathbed".
- Audience Participation Song: An odd variant. "Skittles and Combos," the hidden track from their sophomore album, inspired fans to throw bags of said snack foods onstage for some time, despite the song itself not being part of their normal setlist.
- Breakup Song: Most of Forget and not Slow Down is this due to Matthew's fiance' leaving him while he was writing it.
- Cannot Spit It Out: "Come Right Out And Say It".
- Cover Album: The 14 songs on Is For Karaoke are all covers of artists from as far back as 1979 (Tom Petty) and as recent as 2010 (Justin Bieber).
- Creator Breakdown: Matthew Thiessen's fiancee dumped him while he was writing Forgot And Not Slow Down, which lead to what could possibly be called a positive Creator Breakdown- the album is probably the better for it.
- Epic Rocking: "Deathbed" is over 10 minutes long.
- Everything's Better with Penguins: Shows up on the cover of Deck The Halls, Bruise Your Hands. Also, mysteriously, on the cover of a book they wrote.
- Filk Song: "I'm Lion-O"
- Hidden Track: Once per album, except for Five Score and Seven Years Ago and Collapsible Lung.
- Relient K: "Punk Rock Picinic"
- The Anatomy of the Tongue in Cheek: "Skittles and Combos" (replaced with "The Ballad of Tim Eddings" on the Gold edition)
- Two Lefts Don't Make a Right... But Three Do: Technically untitled; referred to by fans as "Silly Shoes"
- MMHMM: The Title Track is hidden in the pregap
- Forget and Not Slow Down: Untitled; features Matt Theissen's father singing a section of "Sahara."
- Hurricane of Puns: Frequently. It's
practically part of their signature.
- "May the Horse Be With You" and "Bite My Tongue" stand out in particular. The latter combines it with Hurricane of Euphemisms.
- I Have to Wash My Hair: "Mood Rings".
She liked you Wednesday, but now it's Friday, and she has to wash her hair.
- Incredibly Lame Pun: They really like these.
- Life Isn't Fair: Used the phrase, inverted the message in "Be My Escape".
- Long Title: They've had a couple, including "Crayons Can Melt On Us For All I Care" and "The Only Thing Worse Than Beating A Dead Horse Is Betting On One." These usually also double as Non Appearing Titles.
- They're also usually the shortest songs on the album.
- Metal Scream: Had some epic ones on mmmhmmm, most noticeable in the song Life After Death and Taxes. For this, they enlisted the help of the lead singer of Christian Death Metal band The Showdown.
- Miniscule Rocking: "Kick Off", "Crayons Can Melt on Us For All I Care", and "Five Iron Frenzy Is Either Dead or Dying" are all under a minute long. "The Only Thing Worse Than Beating a Dead Horse Is Betting on One" and "Gibberish" aren't much longer.
- Also several tracks on Forget and Not Slow Down, though those are all intros/outros to other songs.
- Mood Whiplash: While a few of their albums have this to varying degrees, The Nashville Tennis EP is especially notable for the incredibly depressing "There Was No Thief" and "Curl Up and Die" sandwiching the rather upbeat pseudo-Reggae "No Reaction".
- Pretty much any time a song ends on a depressing/somber note, it is immediately followed by upbeat music.
- Motor Mouth: "The Only Thing Worse Than Beating a Dead Horse Is Betting On One" starts out this way.
- New Sound Album: Collapsible Lung. From self written Pop Rock to full on Cowritten top 40 style mainstream pop.
- Nonindicative Name: Some of the songs, and the band themselves. Would their name suggest to you that they are a Christian rock band?
- It could be meant to invoke reliance on Jesus. In fact, that's technically what the song "K Car" is about... which would make the song a Stealth Pun.
- Odd Name Out: From "Bee Your Man":
''Thank you very much from John, Matt, Jon, Matt, and Da- Ethan
- One Steve Limit: "Bee Your Man" also illustrates this.
- Perverse Sexual Lust: "Nancy Drew", which is a song about the singer's love for Nancy Drew. Though one might assume it's more of an innocent crush in their case.
- Piss Take Rap: "Silly Shoes", the Hidden Track on Two Lefts Don't Make a Right... But Three Do. It features "The worst freestyle rapper ever", who screws up on his second line because he can't figure out what rhymes with orange.
- Self-Deprecation: Shows up in a few of their more humorous songs.
- At the end of "Mood Ring", Matt can be heard commenting, "Hmmm. That was terrible." concerning the awkward last lyrics of the song.
- The Anatomy of the Tongue in Cheek opens with "Kick Off", in which they sing:
Here's the kick-off
Hope you're not sick of Relient K
And all the songs we play
'Cause then you'll want to throw our CD away!
- Shave and a Haircut: When they played on "Conan" they ended the song "Must Have Done Something Right" with: "You better believe it... CO-NAN!" to the tune of "Shave and a Haircut".
- Singing Simlish: "Gibberish", which is comprised of mostly gibberish, outside of the chorus which basically says "don't talk to people in gibberish".
- Single Stanza Song: "Crayons Can Melt On Us For All I Care". The full lyrics are: "I just wasted ten seconds of your life."
- Shotgun Wedding: "Deathbed".
- Take That: "The One I'm Waiting For", which is a criticism of Thiessen's ex-girlfriend Katy Perry. Oddly enough, they remain good friends.
- The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Covered the song that was the Trope Namer.
- Tsundere: The girl in "Mood Rings", possibly.
- Writing Around Trademarks: The band is named after their car, a Plymouth Reliant K, but the spelling had to be changed to avoid possible trademark issues.
- Also there song "Maybe It's Maybeline," which has changed spelling of the Maybelline make-up brands catchphrase