The Kids CD review [Sonik's Chicken Shrimp]

Music Reviews
The Kids CD review [Sonik's Chicken Shrimp]
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Mar 1, 2007, 04:09

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THE KIDS 30th Anniversary Issue CD

It's a matter of record that The Kids' first couple albums are the best things the Belgium punk scene has ever had to show for itself. However, this being my first exposure to Belgian music of any kind, I happily forfeit my right to fork over my two cents on the matter—though I daresay, the first Hubble Bubble LP I keep reading about would have to be a real corker to offer The Kids' best stuff any serious competition.

As it happens, that's what's contained on this not-quite 70-minute disc: The Kids' s/t debut and its follow-up, Naughty Kids, both from '78; topped off with a few studio and live cuts from the same period (including a very early live “12XU”!); all of which amounts to one of last year's best reissues.

The first album is easily the pick of the pair. Their sound here is a barrelling-fast, metronomic-yet-loose consolidation and simplification of the best moments of rock music's career to that point. Their solo-less music also has some of the longest choruses ever written—which at times is charming for its bullheadedness, at other times just annoyingly monotonous. They could easily be mistaken for Bostonians of the period: elements of Modern Lovers, Nervous Eaters, Real Kids can all be heard in The Kids' music. Front-man Ludo Mariman's charismatic shout is even highly reminiscent of DMZ's Jeff “Monoman” Conolly, after the latter had finally elected to ditch the Gerry Roslie shtick so as to give his already nasty bark a more natural sting. That Mariman is tone deaf hardly matters. At times, it's even a virtue, as on “Do You Love the Nazis,” where he sneers up and down in semitones, bringing himself in and out of alignment with the music at key moments—moments to which I rewind over and over again, much to the annoyance of everyone else in the room.

With the addition of another guitar and a more straightforward rock style, Naughty Kids is much less exciting and marks the start of the band's apparent decline. [Sonik's Chicken Shrimp]

-Armen Svadjian

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