Black Kids Wizard of Ahhhs EP

Black Kids <i>Wizard of Ahhhs</i> EP
At this moment in time the Black Kids are the hottest band on the planet. It’s one of those obvious happenings, like the emergence of Arcade Fire in 2004 or the Strokes in 2001 - to very loosely paraphrase The Guardian. Check out any of the leading music blogs or even some major publications and this Jacksonville, FL-based (yes, Jacksonville!?) are getting serious hugs and kisses. The fact that they’re unsigned – as far as we know – is almost as exciting as the fact that they’re giving away their debut EP for free on their MySpace page, and their singer Reggie Youngblood is in fact a manny (read: male nanny). Wowzers! How delicious is that angle for the press to use? Not to jump on the hypewagon, but they instil that euphoric sense of discovery that was felt upon first hearing "The Modern Age.” Big words, I know, considering they’ve only released four songs and could very well turn around and record a stinker, thus feeding me these words for lunch one day. But the time is now and it belongs to the Black Kids.

The big things to consider are that of the four songs on Wizard of Ahhhs, not one of them resembles another and that Youngblood is showing signs of becoming a wordsmith along the lines of Sir Steven Patrick Morrissey. "Hit the Heartbreaks” uses pseudo-prog guitar lines that lift the hair on your skin only to get your neck chicken-nodding to that relentless cowbell, while Youngblood sings the words "It’s not me, it’s you” like the relentless breaker-upper we’d all love to be. "I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance with You” is a reverb-soaked new wavy pep rally that isn’t far from the Go! Team leading cheers to turn the Cure’s frown upside down, with Youngblood throwing in defeated lyrics about losing the girl to his jock nemeses at a local disco. "Hurricane Jane” is the poignant one though, where he sensibly contemplates his loneliness ("It’s Friday night and I ain’t got nobody so what’s the use of making the bed") over some hushed staccatoed guitar. The finale, "I've Underestimated My Charm (Again),” closes things out by following more of a ’60s pop format, evoking the observational wit of Mozzer dropping lines like: "They caught you in the park after dark, giving head to a statue, girl.” Ooh.

Everything on Wizard of Ahhhs is instantly gratifying yet enormously substantial and striking in its ability to mix blissed out soundtracks with melancholy prose. Will they be huge? No question.

Download and listen to Wizard of Ahhhs