Relient K is a rock band that was 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 pop culture references (early on especially). These days their sound is a folk-alt-rock-punk-something blend. Members Matthew Thiessen (vocals, guitar, and piano) and Matthew Hoopes (backing vocals, guitar) are currently still in the band, with John Warne (more backing vocals, bass) and Jon Schneck (guitar, banjo, bells, yet more backing vocals) having been involved with at least three albums. Former members have included Brian Pittman (bass), Dave Douglas (drums, backing vocals; currently a touring member), and Ethan Luck (also drums).note
They are a Christian Rock band, although not always explicitly so, and they have played with both secular and Christian acts.
- Relient K (2000)
- The Anatomy of the Tongue in Cheek (2001)
- Two Lefts Don't Make a Right...but Three Do (2003)
- Deck the Halls, Bruise Your Hand (2003)
- Mmhmm (2004)
- Five Score and Seven Years Ago (2007)
- Let It Snow, Baby... Let It Reindeer (2007)
- Forget and Not Slow Down (2009)
- Collapsible Lung (2013)
- Air For Free (2016)
Relient K contains examples of:
- Age-Progression Song: "Deathbed".
- Album Intro Track: The aptly-titled "Kick-Off" from The Anatomy of the Tongue in Cheek.
- Arc Words: At least three songs on MMHMM use a phrase about a heavy heart being lightened.
- 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.
- Break-Up 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).
- 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 Picnic"
- 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 Thiessen's father singing a section of "Sahara."
- Air for Free: "Marigold Intro"
- Hurricane of Puns: So frequent, 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 Hate Past Me: "Who I Am Hates Who I've Been"."I'm sorry for the person I became
I'm sorry that it took so long for me to change
I'm ready to be sure I never become that way again
'Cause who I am hates who I've been
Who I am hates who I've been."
- 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, and are also usually the shortest songs on the album.
- Married Too Young: In "Deathbed", the protagonist had a Shotgun Wedding after he impregnated a girl. The marriage was loveless and his wife cheated on him with other men. Eventually she divorced him and took the kids with her.
- Metal Scream: Had some epic ones on MMHMM, most noticeably 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. The only exception seems to be "Deathbed", from their fifth record.
- 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 co-written top 40 style mainstream pop.
- 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-offHope you're not sick of Relient KAnd all the songs we play'Cause then you'll want to throw our CD away!
- "The Thief"And there's just one last thing that I have to sayAs we reflect on the mess of all of this I've madeIt was cowardice that made me push you awayI was so afraid cause you were so much better than me
- 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."
- Take That!: "The One I'm Waiting For", which is allegedly 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.
- The Cover Changes the Gender: Averted by their cover of "Girls Just Want to Have Fun."
- 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.
- Their song "Maybe It's Maybeline" has changed the spelling of the Maybelline make-up brand's catchphrase.