Black Kids have come along way since playing the R Bar back in October. The six months of touring have done them good. Once a bit unsure, last night the band were confident and tight, the sound at Bowery was spot-on. And singer Reggie Youngblood — who is a mustache away from looking exactly like Phil Lynott — has a real star quality about him. People were dancing and singing along to all the songs from August’s Wizard of Ahhhs EP. "Hurricane Jane" sounded especially good…it was a fun show.
The only thing they seemed to be lacking were songs as good as that initial batch that got them all that attention last year. The material that I’m assuming will fill out their upcoming debut album were funkier than anything on Wizard of Ahhhs, in a ’80s Prince kind of way. Which could’ve been a good thing if they were catchier, but they seemed to be all groove and no hooks. Perhaps they need a few more listens to sink in — I’m anxious to hear what former Suede guitarist Bernard Butler (who was the first artist to ever play Bowery Ballroom nearly ten years ago, btw) brings to their songs as the album’s producer. I guess I’ll find out when Partie Traumatic comes out in July.
Having been given the Best New Music tag in Pitchfork for four songs on their MySpace page, Black Kids‘ CMJ shows were some of the most anticipated of the week and this show, put on by Brooklyn Vegan at the garish, stripper-themed R Bar on Friday afternoon was Media and Blogger Central. (The free bloody marys went a long way to ignoring this.) Singer Reggie Youngblood was well aware of situation they were in. "I’m sure you’ve heard the hype… about how good looking we are." The crowd roared.
It was a great way to break the ice, as word of their show from the previous night was bad. Real bad. The only good review was Pitchfork’s Marc Hogan… and he was the guy who wrote the 8.4 review of the EP, so it seemed like he was saving face. I don’t understand the Cure comparisons (to me, they’re more Prefab Sprout or even "Whole of the Moon" era Waterboys, that heart-on-sleeve thing ’80s bands did so well) but I gotta admit I love all their songs… you know, all four of them. I expected the worst, which is maybe why I liked them so much.
I’m not saying they killed. They didn’t. But they were pretty good for a band who has only been performing live for two months. And fun. They’ve got the songs. They’ve got the enthusiasm. The rest will come with time.
MP3: Black Kids – Hurricane Jane
Heart on a Stick, who barely survived a sneak stage-diving attack earlier in the day, also didn’t hate them… Ear Farm, Stereogum, and others were there too.