Tonight! Black Kids Blast Into Respectable Street

Sure, Black Kids frontman Reggie Youngblood (read Christine Borges' Q&A with him for Crossfade here) 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.

-- Nicholas L. Hall

The Black Kids. 9 p.m. Saturday, July 3, at Respectable Street, 518

Clematis St., West Palm Beach. Tickets cost $12 in advance, $15 at the

door. Call 561-832-9999, or click here.

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New Times Staff