Black Kids – Partie Traumatic

Rating: ★★★★☆

Let’s face it, for the last year or so we have heard whispers of how grand this band was supposed to be. Some of us might have even heard their Wizard of Ahhs EP. It’s hard for a band with all that hype to step up to bat and hit one out of the park, but for this listener, they actually did.  

For those of you who checked out that EP, then the first song, “Hit the Heartbrakes,” won’t be a big surprise. The song is filled with dueling male and female vocals, and the ferocious beat throughout the entire song is destined to make you move. 

They follow that with two new songs, both which maintain the same power of the opener. They blast through these two songs with such fervor that its hard not to admire a young band with such spirit. It might not be the most original thing out there, but it holds true to the form the band has established.

Then they go back to the safety of their EP with “Hurricane Jane.” It’s a slower song, that definitely is defined by its bass lines and Reggie Youngblood’s voice. The chorus is probably the highlight here, at least for these ears. 

“I’m Making Eyes at You” is another new song, this one with a bit of the slow moving dance music that was so prevalent in the eighties. Youngblood shows some range on his voice, but the pace of the album kind of slows down here, which is where it makes its first misstep. 

Then its back to the oldies. The next two songs are both the remaining songs from Wizard of Ahhs. “I’m Not Going to Teach Your Boyfriend to Dance” is probably the best song on the album. This song should make lots of year end lists concerning favorite songs to dance to at a party. It’s really hard not to like this song at least a little bit.

After that we visit a few skippable songs. There is some redeeming qualities in both “Love Me Already” and “I Wanna Be Your Limousine,” but the lyrics come off kind of cliche. An example from the former song is “with friends like these/who needs enemies.” I guess it just kind of weakens the songs for me, or just shows the youthful qualities in the band’s writing.  

They close the album out with a little bit of the synth and a touch of the high hat. Those are the dominant instruments, even with the guitar all over this song. The disappointment comes with the rap/spoken word element that kicks in throughout the song. It kind of reminds me of that moment when Deborah Harry thought she could rap. She couldn’t, and Black Kids can’t. It was a disappointing ending to the movie, to the partie if you will. 

All in all, this was a worthwhile album for me to listen to throughout the day. Spirit is one thing this band has, and although the dueling male/female vocals get a little weary, it didn’t bore me quite as much as I expected. If you need a fun album to throw on to get your spirits up, or to throw on the mix when your cruising with the windows down, then this is the one for you.

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