Riskee & The Ridicule – “Body Bag Your Scene”28th June 2019
So back at the beginning of June, I was balls deep in London attempting to cover Camden Rocks for the All About The Rock team (The key word there being attempted) and while things didn’t go entirely smoothly, I did come away from the capital with a new favourite live band. RISKEE & THE RIDICULE are a Kent-based alternative-punk collective, and even though they’ve been going for a couple of years now, with several releases under their belts, if it wasn’t for the team over at Division PR asking us to check out their set at The Monarch, our paths may never have crossed!
As it so happens luckily enough, the four-piece (Consisting of vocalist Scott Picking, lead guitarist Jordan Mann, rhythm guitarist Jimbo Aglony and drummer Matt Verrell) dropped a brand new album this Summer so now is the perfect time to see whether Riskee should indeed be subject to ridicule, as they attempt to “Body Bag Your Scene”…
The album appropriately gets underway with “Accelerate” but it takes a while to get from 0-60 in all honesty. With some repetitive gang-vocal chanting and simple percussion, it’s a slow burner but it eventually puts its foot down as the song bursts into life. The chorus is again, incredibly repetitive but its simplicity is countered by Scott’s angst-riddled lyricism within each verse. Combining a city-boy, almost cockney swagger with an old-school vitriolic punk-inspired tone, he spits of the social stresses of keeping up with the modern world, and how easy it is to fall behind collectively, ultimately ending in disparity. It’s an enjoyable start once it warms up this. The lead single “Kaboom!” however has no such trouble. While on one hand it is again incredibly repetitive and simplistic when it comes to the chorus, the overall delivery is incredibly infectious with some great hooks and some wonderfully tongue-in-cheek lyrical banter. The track grooves along and eventually builds to a superb climactic flurry and it’s impossible to not enjoy this; a fantastic sing-along track when performed live. Imagine THE STREETS went full on punk-rock and ripped into current affairs and you’re on the right track; superb.
The album overall, while retaining the bands distinctive core sound throughout, does manage to incorporate a sprinkling of musical diversity with each track offered up…”Body Bag” utilizes a heavier, deeper guitar tone really emphasising the rockier aspects of their writing style, before transitioning into a more pop-punk inspired track, all the while managing to slip in some aggressive vocals to boot. Fleeting between styles it manages to sound fresh and more importantly fun and it’s another strong offering. “Millwall Brick, Glasgow Kiss” delivers a more post-rock emo sound that would in ways appeal to the likes of say, BAYSIDE et al musically, while closing track “D.I.Y” has a genuinely lovely piano-driven lead, emphasising the poignancy of Scott’s lyricism. It still finds itself in pop-punk territory but that tenderness, if only brief provides additional character which you have to applaud, which can also be said about “For Old Times’ Sake”. The sombre indie tones may bring the mood down but it’s nostalgic, albeit self-depreciating delivery is soothing as opposed to saddening.
If you can look beyond a lot of the admittedly repetitive choruses, the depth of their take on current affairs and social-economic matters is incredibly astute and this is a band with their finger very much on the pulse. Their blend of grime-influenced punk rock has a strong pop-aesthetic while losing none of its ability to convey a message, allowing them to be taken seriously as song writers and performers. There’s little if anything to ridicule here…fetch the body bag, there’s been a murder…Riskee just fucking killed the status quo.
Album Score: 8/10
- “Our Time”
- “Body Bag”
- “Black, White & Grey”
- “In The Dark We Dwell”
- “Sell Out”
- “Millwall Brick, Glasgow Kiss”
- “Cut Your Teeth”
- “For Old Times’ Sake”
June 28th (Out Now)