Introducing KidsOf88 — Jordan Arts & Sam McCarthy.
McCarthy rules vocals, programming and “complaining too much”. While partner-in-heartbreaking Arts, plays synths, programming and “not complaining enough”.
The twosome describe their music as a “whimful combination of dirt spitting kicks and feathering grit. An overdose of nightlife, the lubricated moan of spilt vodka. The hard realization of concrete and the happiness of blurry vision. An alleyway gangbang between Grandmaster Flash and The Knack.”
The rest of New Zealand know KidsOf88 better as architects of the 15,000 copies sold debut single ‘My House’. And the rest of the world? A UK 7" already released through Dryden Street / East City Records, and an official remix for Ke$ha have certainly paved the way for arresting first impressions.
Arts and McCarthy respect bands that combine humanity and technology. They are also partial to a bit of blood, some sweat, and musical instrument collisions — think the rolling drum machines of the 1990s. Suicide (the band), Manchester (the city), distortion pedals and echo chambers. Girls and the way they look so good in black. Lack of inhibition. Storytelling. Leather Boots. Beetlejuice would be Rickrolling in his grave.
808s, fairy bread and whiskey are KO88's raisons d’être. They “write by recording, so that by the end of a written song, is a demo to play at friends parties”. Eager to please, the band explain that “we try to keep everything as fresh as possible, whether that's finding the oldest synth known to man on eBay just to spark a melodic hook, or dressing up in fur coats to encourage a particular drum rhythm. Sound pretentious? Well, it doesn’t sound, it is. But it keeps us excited.” Radical.
KidsOf88 are band-most-likely-to gatecrash, a bottle of 2006 Merlot and good disposition in-hand, and they want to take you to prom. Prom, meaning super-sacred promise of dancing. Lots and lots of foot-stomping, finger-snapping, and exhaling screams. “The main focus of last year was to encourage a healthy bank of songs. 2010 is the year of the Live Show.” And Kids Of 88 are excited. ”Amazingly excited, giddy in fact. The songs are fat and full in their recorded state, so the idea was not to take any short-cuts in re-creating such similar power and grit live. We built a hybrid of rock & roll and dance, the drive of a four to the floor-kick, with the spit of a rusted guitar. A four-piece, consisting of live/electronic drums, electric guitar, live and programmed synth, plus vocals.”
Having already become intimate with the chart-conquering singles ‘My House’ and ‘Just a little bit’ now new single ‘Sugar Pills’ is currently sinking it's fangs into your brainstem. Their debut album, also titled Sugar Pills was released in August last year and peaked at the number two spot on the NZ music charts.
“We told ourselves that we never wanted to repeat what we were doing. We’ll be into filling up the song notches on the album, but on top of that we're just heavily focused on spreading the word and expanding ourselves, creatively and nutritionally.”
Here's looking at you Kids … can’t stop, won’t stop.