Black Kids Blast Into Respectable Street
Sure, Black Kids frontman Reggie Youngblood sings like an overly earnest Robert Smith impersonator, and sure, the band sounds like a thick patois of nearly every '80s musical dialect ever put on acetate, but that's exactly what makes them fantastic. It's almost as if they've tumbled out of a wormhole that sidestepped the wonder and the terror of the Reagan era, and yet they can still churn out four-minute pop songs mirroring everything that made the decade great.
Cheesy synth lines played to hooky, hokey perfection, oil-slick production values, and canned yet canny beats forcing you to dance with embarrassing style are all there, and it's all glorious. Pile on the band's indefatigable party vibe, carried in no small measure by the drill-team exuberance of Dawn Watley and Ali Youngblood, to fill out a giant, sweaty-faced, fun-flushed smile of a band. Detractors point to the imitations and hype-machine expectations dashed, but everyone else is wearing the gaudiest, brightest clothing and having a fantastic time with five musicians who know how to make that happen.
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