REAL KIDS - Shake... Outta Control LP
"And now we have, finally, a new Real Kids record. "Shake... Outta Control". It’s a cracker. Age has wearied Felice a bit, but it rarely detracts from what was intended as, and what sounds like, a true follow up to the band’s Red Star debut. It’s simple and rocking stuff. Most of the tunes do in fact date from the immediate post-first album period, and live versions – some pretty primitively recorded – previously appeared on Norton’s revelatory "Grown Up Wrong" collection in the mid-'90s. This album doesn’t replace that collection, but it’s great to hear this stuff given a full-bodied studio treatment.
Producer and Ace of Hearts label boss Rick Harte (a major figure on the Boston Rock scene from the late ‘70s and beyond) nails the band’s sound (the raunchy twang of Felice’s guitar sounds is instantly recognisable) and adds some neat touches, including harmonica and occasional mandolin, that give it an honest and rootsy vibe.
The album features an astoundingly faithful cover of longtime Felice fave "She’s Got Everything" by the Kinks (which sounds like a fun exercise in seeing if they could replicate the sound of the great original recording, which they managed to do), and, most significantly a drop-dead stunning version of the early Modern Lovers Jonathan Richman tune "Fly Into The Mystery" (which Felice took a loan of when he left the Modern Lovers – a mid-70s live version by the Kids appeared some years back). It might not have the tearaway energy of the band’s first album, but it’s got everything else – if you like the Real Kids you need to hear this record, regardless what you think of reformations.