Pumpehuset, Copenhagen, DEN - 13/3
Riskee And The Ridicule
Written by: MAK on 21/02/2017 00:39:04
“Lad punk” seems to be a continuously growing trend in the United Kingdom and it’s slowly seeping more and more into alternative music. We’ve seen it with the UK’s Slaves, which sounds at times like studs and pins style old school punk, but it comes across with a cockney/Essex style swagger and a cocky attitude that doesn’t quite make it feel like it’s from the same stretch as the Sex Pistols or The Clash. Riskee and The Ridicule fall into this category by blending punk, grime and indie influences in their latest effort, “Blame Culture”. On paper, this just shouldn’t work, but if TRC and Astroid Boys can blend grime and rap with hardcore, why can’t it work with punk too?
“Blame Culture” kicks off with the punchy “Nobody Likes Us”, where we are treated to crunchy guitars and hard hitting beats, it’s rather heavy but simplistic. The twist comes in with rapping vocals on top of the gritty punk vibes. “Nobody likes us, "they’re too ghetto". Nobody likes us, "they’re not punk”", are the lyrics in a catchy chorus that sums up my initial reaction. It takes a couple of listens to get used to the style.
“Banger” is the perfect name for the follow-up because that’s exactly what it is. A fun indie-punk hit with captivating grooves. It’s got a mainstream feel to it with catchy hooks like it should be played on the radio. The backing vocal shouts the same angst from underground punk and that makes it seem like it would be perfect in a dive bar. “Hipster” then ups the tempo and the guitars are heavier, with some awesome grooves flowing right through the track. It’s a party anthem with some great “Dadadada” sing-along segments in the chorus.
“Molotov Cocktails” takes a darker edge and sounds closer to a Hollywood Undead hit. The rapping lyrics are aggressive and dramatic, and the chorus is equally as captivating as the others but it’s a lot more melodic and entrancing. It’s an epically angry piece. It’s one of the few tracks that doesn’t try to start a party and get you dancing. Another is “Backwards”, which is far from the punk-rock atmosphere the others emit. It’s a sombre rap-fronted acoustic number that calms things down, it’s a nice break from the high-energy hooks that dominate the album. Though, it certainly helps make the extremely lively “Villains” come in with an impact.
“Blame Culture” is a fun little surprise find and once I got past the initial “what the hell is this?” phase I found these songs quite enjoyable. The blend of styles is refreshing, though very niche in terms of who might like it. I can imagine some elitists will act negative towards this combination of rap-fronted punk and say “That’s not punk”. But it works as an alternative album. There is a strong British twang and attitude to it, much like TRC has with their laddish-hardcore stance. It just adds to the whole persona of the band and album. It’s one of the factors that makes the band stand out, other than the obvious mix of influences.
Download: Banger, Molotov Cocktails, Hipster
For The Fans Of: Slaves(UK), Wonk Unit, Popes of Chillitown, King Blues
Release date 06.01.2017