Great; but only if you're too young to have heard it all before.
Keira Burgess 2008-07-01
Florida five-piece Black Kids didn't exactly have a lot to live up to when walking in the footsteps of their Jacksonville musical forefathers. Having previously enjoyed the dubious pleasure of claiming Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst as its most famous local citizen-done-good, the city was doubtless ecstatic about the arrival of the aptly-named Reggie Youngblood and his band of neon-bedecked renegades. Unfortunately for them, debut album. Partie Traumatic serves to prove that the kids in America are not the cutting-edge voices of a generation that they once were. Either sorely beaten to it by Brazilian eccentrics, Cansei De Ser Sexy, or unashamed copycats of their tribe-like aesthetic, the Kids are yet another in the line of shouty gangs who somewhere along the way forgot the importance of a melody.
The record starts positively enough with the catchy chorus of Hit The Heartbreaks, but once you've heard the track in its entirety you’ve been there, done that as far as the rest of the album is concerned. Youngblood's desperate yelp of a vocal becomes irritating by the second song, stopping only briefly on the highlight I'm Making Eyes At You, during which he softens, allowing for a sweet boy-girl harmony. The track also sports a gorgeous synth ditty, reminiscent of Alison Moyet's Only You.
It's best to make the most of this misfitting interlude, as the teenage tantrum continues immediately in its wake. The lyrics are undeniably superior to the tunes, which themselves have been given an evident and improving production polish by former Suede guitarist, Bernard Butler. Youngblood offers valuable life insight to teens who are too green to have been touched by Brandon Flowers' tale of heartbreak, Mr Brightside. Indeed, many a young man could learn a valuable lesson from the line, "You can't treat women like hotels", from Love Me Already.
It's a sentiment which is typical of the album as a whole. Great; but only if you're too young to have heard it all before.