Some people hate Black Market Art’s Darian Wood for his loud mouth, some hate him for his hip-hop posing, and some hate him for setting back the cause of white men fighting for their right to wear dumb hats by twenty years. But most people just hate him because he’s Darian Wood, and he likes it that way. His signature song, the 2006 Rock quest hit ‘I Want to Die’ was everything indie should be: hilarious, catchy, sad, human, not to mention loud and stupid.
Kids is looser and livelier, and just plain better than anything they’ve ever tried before. The album begins with “Sitting beside heaters, complaining of the weather, then we’ll sleep through the rafters… I’ll introduce some friends from the past”, and it seems that our Christchurch boys are attempting a concept album in which they play the role of a fictional rock group.
They don’t tinker with their basic sound, so if you hated them before, you won’t change your mind. But they’ve never sounded as righteous or confident as in the opening head banger “Yell and Yell”, which switches between a strange Nine Inch Nails parody and a populist summary of the worldview that makes Black Market Art resonate with the scared, screwed-up kids in their audience. Over Darian Wood’s break-stuff guitar, Wood lays it on the line: “I took the paper hat to a labour-union protest/ and I yelled and yelled and yelled and yelled and yelled” He really slams it home with the chorus chant, “But I was angry/I was angry and it’s good to yell” Damn straight – if you don’t have days like this, you’re probably Jewel, and you’re also lying. And if you give up on the kids who feel this way every day, you’re as much of a sucker as Wood says you are. But in case you accuse him of lacking a sense of humor, he ends the song with the couplet: “As a boy, I was never really told about this sort of thing. Sometimes I just take my cue from movies and television” In another song, Wood boasts, “I’m marrying a man, a man with money in his purse,” and believe me, that explains a lot.