Published Dec 15, 2008From now until January 13, I'll be featuring my favourite tracks of 2008, some of which have already appeared in Click Hear throughout the year, some of which haven't.
I can't really speak for Jacksonville, FL's Black Kids but I'm sure they'd agree that 2008 didn't go as they planned. Praised by all for last year's Wizard of Ahhhs EP, the pressure was on for the fivesome as soon as they got that career-making "kiss of life" review from Pitchfork.
Early reports on the band's recording sessions with ex-Suede guitarist Bernard Butler weren't too promising, as front-man Reggie Youngblood described the results at that point as "terrible." And then came their first major tour supporting critical darlings Cut Copy. When they played Toronto, I managed to get a sneak preview of their debut album; I came away hoping it was just an off night for them.
Partie Traumatic was released in July to very mixed reviews. The most hyped band arguably since the Strokes, their album was subjected to severe critical analyses, which hit an infamous climax when their once biggest fans Pitchfork ran a vicious yet perplexing review that consisted of a photo of two pugs and an eventual 3.3 rating (apparently it first read 0.0).
For me, the album was an undeniable letdown but not nearly as devastatingly so as many felt it was. Youngblood has already started talking about never writing that crucial second record, which I hope isn't the case because aside from the re-recorded Wizard of Ahhhs tracks, there were a handful of decent ones on the record ("Love Me Already" and "I'm Making Eyes At You") that showed this band are certainly capable of greatness.
One thing that was irrefutable this year was how brilliant "I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance" sounded in the hands of Butler (and looked in the eyes of Chris Boyle, the grandiose video's director). The synths were inflated, the tempo upped a smidge, the vocals more pronounced and the whole thing glossed over with thoughts of new wave and Britpop greats, as well as achieving that smash hit to prove all of the hype wasn't for nothing. It wasn't a "smash," of course, but it was enough to confirm that everything enthusiasts felt upon first hearing their EP wasn't a fluke.
Also check out the Twelves' remix of the single, which deliciously borrows Daft Punk's filter house signature. One of the best remixes I heard all year, I'd say it even rivals the original.
Black Kids "I'm Not Going To Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You" (The Twelves Remix)