Wizard Of Ahhhs
The good times, they’re great. But what you learn, as life unfolds, is that the good times are not always the most important. No, it’s when elation meshes with anticipation and hope meets fear that things really come alive, because life is fundamentally bittersweet. And as Jacksonville, Florida’s Black Kids gaze down from the quite spectacular mountain of hype that’s built over the last six months – a rapturously received CMJ show, tidal waves of excitement sweeping through the blogosphere, the phrase “the new Arcade Fire?” – they must be thinking, “Gee, this is great.” But isn’t it funny how sometimes, a summit can also look like a precipice? ‘Wizard Of Ahhhs’ is Black Kids’ debut EP. And if, in this slender four tracks and 15 minutes, they don’t achieve everything that everyone’s said about them – how could they? – it’s clear that this is a band as far removed from their peers as flesh and blood are from unicorns and fairydust.
First up, there’s ‘Hit The Heartbrakes’, a pounding updraft of breathless heartache and dizzy euphoria with supremely odd lyrics about “the ghost in your underwear”. Then you’re sucked into the slipstream of ‘I’m Not Going To Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You’ – a romping gangshow of whizzing synth, double Dutch vocals and funky drums that sound like The Go! Team trading daisy bouquets with The Flaming Lips in a playschool sandpit. ‘Hurricane Jane’ adds disco to the mix, a glimpse of a parallel universe where The Cure were the house band at Studio 54. And if, by ‘I’ve Underestimated My Charm (Again)’, you’re still waiting for the band to put a foot wrong, you’re left waiting in vain. ‘Wizard Of Ahhhs’ is elation and anticipation, hope and fear. It’s the best times right here.