REAL KIDS, THE: The Kids 1974 Demos, The Real Kids 1977/78 Demos / Live at the Rat! January 22, 1978: LPs

Jul 25, 2018

As I get older and my record buying budget shrinks due to adulting concerns, I find myself less of a completist. Usually I skip live or demo records, but in the case of these Real Kids releases, I pulled the trigger, knowing Crypt Records would do them justice. Man, are these records beautiful! Both are single LPs housed in a gatefold cover, with tons of pictures and liner notes. In the case of Demos, there’s a thirty-two page book (which I was not able to finish by this review deadline). If you thought Crypt’s Pagans reissues from the early ‘00s were something, wait until you see these. Demos features early, uh, demos, by the (then) Kids from 1974 and The Real Kids from early 1977. The sound quality is amazing, considering the age of the recordings. Yes, there’s tape hiss but I have no problem with it, as we get to hear these songs mastered as loud as Crypt is known to master records. “Nowadaze Kids” and “I’m Going Blind” are brain melters. Why the band didn’t keep these songs in rotation and give them a proper recording is beyond me. “Coming Around” is MC5-fierce. At times, the guitars have a New York Dolls-esque bray to them. Live at the Rat! scorches. The band is tight, totally on point, and singer John Felice’s voice is strong. My only real complaint is that the set starts off with “Better Be Good.” I like the song and all, but not my pick for an opener. But this set was recorded when I was only six months old, so I guess I don’t get a say. –Sal Lucci (Crypt)