It seemed entirely possible that Black Kids were never going to get an honest shot, would use up all their hype and buzz before their first full-length even dropped, and would fade into former Next Big Thing obscurity like Morningwood and Cold War Kids. That may still be the case but, unlike those other examples, Black Kids merits your attention, and Partie Traumatic is a confident, fun debut. Every track from their download-only EP Wizard of Ahhhs makes the cut on Partie, and most of the six other “new” tracks will be familiar to those who’ve made it to a Black Kids live show or prowled around file-sharing sites for Ahhhs‘s bonus cuts. Still, it’s grand to have all these disco, new wave and indie-rawk-stylized pop songs all in one glossy set, which was produced by Suede’s Bernard Butler. At times, the band’s genre-bending and slightly bleak lyrics may remind you of when you first got enamored with Beck. Genre’s not the only thing that’s bending, though, as Robert Smith-channeling frontman Reggie Youngblood sings to “Hurricane Jane” that he wants her “here inside me” and addresses “the girl that I’ve been dreaming of ever since I was a little girl” on “I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance with You.” But the group’s, as John Donne might say, indifferent approach to sex and sexuality is only a minor facet of their grander scheme: having a good time. This is the type of record that claims not even the Apocalypse can stop the party, declaring in the infectious chorus to album-closer “Look at Me (When I Rock Wichoo)” that “when the clock says stop, we’re all gonna drop/I don’t care what you’ve been taught/I say baby, you say bump it/All you wanna hear is Gabriel’s trumpet.” Hell, if Black Kids can take on the end of the world, they ought to be able to withstand a little fanboy backlash.
- Slant is reaching more readers than ever before, but advertising revenue across the Internet is falling fast, hitting independently owned and operated publications like ours the hardest. We’ve watched many of our fellow media sites fall by the way side in recent years, but we’re determined to stick around.
We’ve never asked our readers for financial support before, and we’re committed to keeping our content free and accessible—meaning no paywalls or subscription fees. If you like what we do, however, please consider becoming a Slant patron.
You can also make a one-time donation via PayPal: