Heavy Metal Kids


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When the Heavy Metal Kids split in 1976, shortly after signing with Mickie Most's RAK label, few observers expected to hear from them again. Two years on, however, they reconvened and Kitsch emerged a comparative triumph, a lushly produced and grandiosely arranged package that looked around at the punk scene then exploding across the U.K., clocked the Kids' own resonance within that movement, and then went soaring off in another direction entirely. The opening "Overture" instrumental might have stepped out of some mid-'70s Moog showcase -- Snowflakes Are Stomping or some such -- and that set the tone for the remainder of the set, as hints of Sparks, Queen, and the Sweet filter across the screen. Of course, it's all a very long way from the the Kids of the past, but it had been a long time since then as well. Kitsch is the sound of a band moving with the times, adapting to its environment, and trying something that sounds as dynamic as it is far-sighted -- indeed, a couple of years later, the same heavy keyboards, swooping choruses, and staccato arrangements would see Simple Minds proclaimed one of the era's most innovative new bands. At the time, the new sound of the Kids simply baffled, bemused, and bewildered, and if you compare the Minds' "Chelsea Girl" with the Kids' "Chelsea Kids," and you'll understand the injustice.

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