Skip to main content
Loading...

Featured Post

Game Of Thrones Season 8 - End Game With Sinhala Subtitles

Flipboard

Flipboard

Rat Boy - Internationally Unknown Music Album Reviews

The fashionable UK punk-rap frontman has been made into an icon, but his second album is too often a pale and rote imitation of rebellion.

Long before Jordan Cardy became known as the punk-rap miscreant Rat Boy, the other kids on the playground likened the Essex native’s physical appearance to that of a rodent. His severe dyslexia, coupled with his proclivities for skateboarding and art over academia, resulted in chronic absences from school. He was fired from his job working the dreaded night shift at the Wetherspoons, a British pub chain catering mostly to chavs and suits; McDonald’s flat-out turned him down. Through it all, Cardy kept as relentless as his namesake critter, uploading his punk-flavored hip-hop tracks to Soundcloud en masse, and fearlessly pitching anyone and everyone on the platform in hopes that someone was listening.

As it turns out, people were listening: namely bassist Drew McConnell of the post-punk band Babyshambles. Intrigued, he took a then-17-year-old Cardy under his wing and introduced him to various music-industry types in the UK, including the folks at Parlophone Records, who added Rat Boy to their roster in 2015. Less than five years later, Rat Boy has grown his scumbaggery into not only a full-fledged project (sampled by Kendrick Lamar, no less) and an international streetwear line (called Scum, obviously) but a walking flashpoint for UK youth culture as a whole. This success stems mostly from Cardy’s timely, intersectional sound—a self-made mélange of hardcore punk, ’90s hip-hop, second-wave ska, and big-beat funk à la Fatboy Slim, set to familiar accounts of wasted youth and generational ennui—but also from how he’s a Supreme-sporting skate-rat who’s really fucking cool. (“[His style], that’s what got me into him,” said Liam Gallagher’s 16-year-old son Gene.”)

Rat Boy’s second full-length album, Internationally Unknown, doesn’t resemble an album so much as an AirPods-friendly, watered-down distillation of each and every soundtrack to “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater.” The riffs skew crunchy and distorted, the drums airtight and boom-bap inspired, the arrangements snotty and brash, and the lyrics perfunctorily rebellious, filled with one-dimensional portraits of dithering cops, dead-end jobs, and lazy afternoons at the skatepark. The crisp, dubby production, courtesy of Rancid’s Tim Armstrong, deepens the record’s nostalgic focus even further. Their ska-lite sheen and skater-kid swagger across many songs including “No Peace No Justice”—featuring the seasoned punk on guest vocals—could easily pass for Transplants, Armstrong’s rap-leaning side project from the early aughts.

The strongest moments on Internationally Unknown come when Cardy abandons those rote Dogtown set pieces for something a little closer to home. “Don’t Hesitate,” far and away the album’s highlight, puts an endearingly-goofy spin on Cornershop’s beat-heavy Britpop. “Young gun hustler made his moves/Glock against the clock, have you heard the news?” Cardy chirps, exaggeratedly mean-mugging from atop the rubbery sub-bass, wholly well-aware that he can’t play the tough guy to save his life, but giving zero fucks nonetheless. The standout “So What,” a cynical, call-and-response laundry-list of all the shit that can go wrong in a young person’s life, ranging from losing their job to being shaken down by the cops, has similar comedic merit but applies those jokes to more universal ends.

“When I was a kid, I did feel like there were not, like, people that were into the same stuff,” Cardy said of his obsession with ’90s culture in a recent New York Times profile. This boilerplate sentiment is arguably why young people find Rat Boy so appealing to begin with: Cardy holds a familiar mirror to the clusterfuck of growing up. He hopes it'll make the existential boogiemen a little more cartoonish, a little more conquerable. A little bit of retrospective absurdity goes a long way—if only the rest of Internationally Unknown wasn’t so pale and redundant.


View the original article here

Comments

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Loading...

Popular posts from this blog

Samsung Galaxy Buds Review

Samsung has introduced a new pair of wireless earbuds with various upgrades including wireless charging. Find out what we make of the Galaxy Buds in our full review.
Should I Buy The Samsung Galaxy Buds?
The Galaxy Buds are solidly good wireless earbuds with comfortable design and reasonable sound quality for an affordable price.
Samsung has added some nice features here like Ambient Sound, but there are also cost cutting measures and iPhone owners will want to avoid considering these as an AirPods alternative.

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite Hands-On Preview

Niantic has used the tech behind its hugely successful Pokémon Go to bring witches and wizards a new game that they’re going to be obsessed with.
Should I Buy Harry Potter: Wizards Unite?
Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is more than just Pokémon Go with magic. It brings gameplay elements that you'll know and love if you're a Pokémon Go fan together with new and exciting features designed exclusively for this new game to bring the Wizarding World to life.

Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018) Review

A mid-range phone with triple rear cameras is a rare thing, especially at under £300 but the Galaxy A7 isn't an instant winner. Find out why in our full review.
Should I Buy The Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018)? The Galaxy A7 is a decent choice for a mid-range phone if you're looking to spend less than £300. Highlights include an excellent screen, nice design and cameras you'd wouldn't expect to find.
However, unless you're going to use the wide-angle lens a lot there are some strong rivals out there like the Moto G7 Plus and Honor Play.

Amazon Lord Of The Rings TV Show Latest News

Amazon's Lord of the Rings TV series has been quiet on the news front for the past few months but we're starting to some details emerge for the highly anticipated show.
For most of the past decade, TV producers have been desperate to find ‘the next Game of Thrones’, and now Amazon apparently reckons it’s found it: Lord of the Rings.

2019 Toyota Mirai Review

LIKES
Water is the only emissionComfortable interiorGood rangeGood lease dealsDISLIKES
Not very attractiveNot powerfulOnly appeals to a small number of buyersProhibitively expensive to buyThe 2019 Toyota Mirai hydrogen-powered sedan is the other, other option for green drivers—albeit a very small number of green drivers.
The 2019 Toyota Mirai is a hydrogen-powered sedan sold in very small numbers in Northern and Southern California and Hawaii.

Like Fan Page