Skip to main content

Review: Black Kids' New Album Partie Traumatic

It is becoming increasingly obvious that something there is that loves the 1980s - despite many naff failed attempts to bring the decade back. The zenith of the 80s is the great John Hughes filmography (Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Pretty In Pink, etc) that nailed some true colours to the mast. Songs from those movies became the New Wave American Standards (often from British bands less loved at home, like Simple Minds). Black Kids is an American New-New Wave band - they probably have another term for it (indie isn't sufficiently blunt): this music is almost homage, almost pastiche - and all Cure.

I can think of no higher praise for this fun, playful, deliriously derivative album of ten punchy songs* than to say that Partie Traumatic (due for US release July 22) is 21 years too late - and just on time. Taking as its template Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, from 1987, and mixing it with 1982's The Youth of Today, Black Kids create a timeless upbeat pop sound, whose Robert Smith vocals evoke the swooning effervescent passions of the eternal teenager. May there be eternal recurrence for such retro-bliss.
*Some reviews have spoken of the album's literary and theological implications; although such undercurrents may reward sniffers of intertextuality, the overall message of the work is so zoomingly fun, and bubblegum-thin, any deeper religion is washed blood-clean as a lamb in Alabama.
Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

DANGER, MAN

Like a crazed killer clown, whether we are thrilled, horrified, shocked, or angered (or all of these) by Donald Trump, we cannot claim to be rid of him just yet. He bestrides the world stage like a silverback gorilla (according to one British thug), or a bad analogy, but he is there, a figure, no longer of fun, but grave concern.

There has long been a history of misogynistic behaviour in American gangster culture - one thinks of the grapefruit in the face in The Public Enemy, or Sinatra throwing a woman out of his hotel room and later commenting he didn't realise there was a pool below to break her fall, or the polluted womb in Pacino'sScarface... and of course, some gangsta rap is also sexist.  American culture has a difficult way with handling the combined aspects of male power, and male privilege, that, especially in heteronormative capitalist enclaves, where money/pussy both become grabbable, reified objects and objectives (The Wolf of Wall Street for instance), an ugly fus…

AMERICA PSYCHO

According to the latest CBS, ABC, etc, polls, Clinton is still likely to beat Trump - by percentile odds of 66% to 33% and change. But the current popular vote is much closer, probably tied with the error of margin, around 44% each. Trump has to win more key battleground states to win, and may not - but he is ahead in Florida...

We will all know, in a week, whether we live in a world gone madder, or just relatively mad.

While it seems likely calmer heads will prevail, the recent Brexit win shows that polls can mislead, especially when one of the options is considered a bit embarrassing, rude or even racist - and Trump qualifies for these, at least.

If 42-45% of Americans admit they would vote for Trump, what does that say about the ones not so vocal? For surely, they must be there, as well. Some of the undecided will slide, and more likely they will slide to the wilder and more exciting fringe candidate. As may the libertarians.

Eyewear predicts that Trump will just about manage to win th…

SEXTON SHORTLIST!

Announcing the Shortlist for the 2016 Sexton PrizeSeptember 13, 2016 / By Kelly Davio
Eyewear Publishing is pleased to announce the shortlist for the 2016 Sexton Prize. The finalists are, in no particular order, as follows:


THE BARBAROUS CENTURY, Leah Umansky
HISTORY OF GONE, Lynn Schmeidler
SEVERE CLEAR, Maya Catherine Popa
GIMME THAT. DON’T SMITE ME, Steve Kronen
SCHEHERAZADE AND OTHER REDEPLOYMENTS, David McAleavey
AN AMERICAN PURGATORY, Rebecca Gayle Howell
SIT IN THE DARK WITH ME, Jesse Lee Kercheval

The shortlist was selected by Eyewear’s Director Todd Swift with Senior Editor Kelly Davio. Don Share of Poetry Magazine will select the winning manuscript, which will be released at the 2017 AWP conference in Washington, D.C. The winner will be announced in October. 
Congratulations to our finalists!