REAL KIDS, THE: The Kids – 1974 Demos, The Real Kids – 1977/78 Demos/Live: CD + Book

May 23, 2018

Length restrictions (I think the title alone ate up about half my three hundred word limit) won’t permit getting you up to speed on the Real Kids 1978 self-titled debut album; in the unlikely and unfortunate event you are not familiar with this ideal synthesis of punk, power pop, and rock’n’roll, buy it and double back here when you’re ready. We’re gonna start without you. Anyway, I’ve never seen anything quite like this before—it’s a 200-page CD booklet, bound like a book, plus a glued-in CD—a sprawling epic marvel detailing not only the rise and fall of the Real Kids, but also the early Boston scene in general and John Felice’s musical career in specific. Musically, what I found most arresting were the eight songs on the church basement demo from 1974, when the band were still hobbling along as “The Kids.” One generally thinks of the Real Kids as a taut, economical unit, but in ‘74 the Kids were bringing the THUNDER, dude. I never really saw the Real Kids/MC5 connection before, but the Keith Moon-esque, arena-demolishing kit-pounding anchors a sound which the band’s balls, guts, and heart seem to be pushing towards Kick Out the Jams territory, while their brain tries to angle it towards Back in the USA or maybe the Flamin’ Groovies instead. When the scene shifts to ‘77/’78 and the sound and songs move into familiar focus, one can’t help but notice how the drums get relegated to mere time keeping and flourishes and wonder what might have happened had they articulated their ‘74 vision more fully. We’re obviously all going to have to buy this. BEST SONG: Reggae!!! Reggae!!! BEST SONG TITLE: Reggae!!! Reggae!!! FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Reggae!!! Reggae!!! –Rev. Nørb (Crypt, cryptrecords.com)

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