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Black Kids' Canny, Twisty Mix

Everything about the Jacksonville, Fla.-based indie-pop band Black Kids is calculated to provoke and thrill: There's that partly allegorical name, for starters. (Only some of the Kids are actually kids; only two of the five are actually black.) And then there's that sound — a canny, twisty mix of Euro-disco, punk, and punchy art-rock guitar riffs.

The band's recent EP, Wizard of Ahhhs (available for free download at its Web site; a full-length follow-up is due in July), is presumably meant to serve as an introductory attention-getter, and does it ever serve that purpose: It has the muddy, happy feel of a basement party record made by kids who learned about new-wave by listening to the Cure and no-wave by listening to The Arcade Fire. Which, come to think of it, is probably what happened.

"I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance with You" is filled with yelling, chanting, reverb, gender-bending, and just about anything else Black Kids thought to throw at it. It's the loosest, funkiest, most self-infatuated song New Order never recorded.

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This story originally ran on Jan. 30, 2008.

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Allison L. Stewart
Allison Stewart is a writer living in New York. It's entirely possible to see her work in The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, No Depression, Rolling Stone or any number of other places. Or to miss it entirely, which is just as likely.