Going back to last Sunday, Black Kids, the band who are either going to be the "Next Big Thing" or the "Next Big Over-hype" played their first headlining gig at Bowery Ballroom. They were the name to drop at CMJ last year. I remember when they played R bar and I wanted to go. I saw it was way crowded and said to myself, "I'll see them next time, when they are over-rated and it's not cool to like them anymore." Well, last Sunday may have been that time. I'm just concerned with how the music is and how well they perform as a band.
Obviously, "I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance with You" is your de facto summer jam of 2008. Indeed, it is a catchy, giddy tune that make you loose control. It's the track the Go! Team failed to make on their second album with its cheerleader chorus, shouts and retro grooves. It's a fun track to see live because it plays as an anthem for good times. The boy Youngblood, with his Robert Smith vocals, is so well suited for the song.
Other than that, gang, they have two other great songs, and the rest you can delete from your itunes. The show didn't start with a bang but with a mehhhhhhhh. I began to think, "Oh dear, Lord. How can a nation of tastemakers be wrong?" Hurricane Jane was so slow and lethargic. You wonder if they band actually likes that song. It's suppose to be a sexy, seductive song, but you sense that they are forcing the grooves and retro synth sounds into an otherwise bland song.
It's the other song from Wizard of Ahhs that has some vitality to it, "Hit the Heartbreaks" with the "Oh whoo is me" vocals and hard hitting beats. When Reggie said during the show that the new album was produced by Bernard Butler of Suede and The Tears, it's when the band finally came together. They then blazed into the classic oldies, Roy Orbison meets The Shangri-Las style of "I've Underestimated My Charm (Again)". There was one other song that was had me getting into the groove, which will be on the band's debut, Partie Traumatic.
I just think that we talk about these bands early on and the attention doesn't allow them to work on their sound and get use to each other as a band. I'm very guilty on it myself. Sometimes, bands are good right off the bat. Other times, they are good for a few songs early on, but then when you see the complete package, you sense that there isn't much beyond a handful of catchy songs you hear on their myspace page. I have a feeling Black Kids might suffer from the too much, too soon scenario. No anointing oil will be coming from me, but they have some good things that could lead them into better songs. I have to wait and hear the new album when it comes out in July.
That said, their bass player, Owen Holmes, is the man. Like most bass players, he's laid back and just blends into the music. He gives the songs the danceability because most of their tunes rely on a heavy bass to get you dancing along.
Just now I was reading the NY Times review of the same show, at like with most NY Times music reviews, I have no idea if they liked it of not. For me, it's not a matter if I liked it, is if I had a good time. Off and on, yes, it was a good dance party atmosphere. Other times, I'm staring at them and wondering what the big deal is. I have a feeling these up-and-comers are thinking the same thing.