Sunday, 11 March 2012

The 2kDozen 500: #98 - Rizzle Kicks, "Stereo Typical"

Oooh! Exciting! First moment it kicks off and I recognise the tasty sample - "Rainbow Chaser" by Nirvana, the Sixties UK band. Used it myself on a CocOen track back in the day, "CocOen Aflame". It's on iTunes and YouTube and my gravestone. (It's on none of these things.)

Next up is more what I was expecting, skanking rhythms and trumpets. I am indeed down with them trumpets. "When I Was A Youngster" is on the topic of dreaming already, as was the first track. You get a feeling these kids had a quite comfortable middle-class upbringing with a wide open sense of possibilities. It's the vague sense of having to improve ("Learn My Lesson" for example) that suggests a comfortable background, as with the dreaming. It's not from the streets, from the estates they need to escape. In fact, there's no language of escape at all. It's about fulfillment and aspiration. They hadn't dealt on the corner, they'd "settled for a desk job". They're doubled-up UK Fresh Princes of East Sussex.

They sound hungry for poppy hooks and friendly sounds and witty twists. They sound quite polite young lads as well; like a less deranged *Aspects, one of my favourite ever UK hip hop acts, or like London-Welsh MC Akira the Don. A sound formed by the same pursuits that helped relief small town boredom (drugs, cult films, general fucking about and thinking strange thoughts) then becoming the crates in the back of their minds they dig through for samples and lyrics.

I like the Rizzle Kicks singles. (That is George Michael at the start of "Mama Do The Hump", isn't it?) Anything that promotes trumpets (whether it's a song title or an advert for sweets) is fine by me. "Demolition Man" was a great film, but it's a bit thin production-wise for me. "Miss Cigarette" makes a neat metaphorical connection between a girl and cigarettes. "Stop with the Chatter" does have "old school drums and old school flow", which gets me on board. He identifies with Malcolm of Malcolm in the Middle, which sets them up as clever, comedy boys. "Homewrecker" sets out their cheeky chappy Ladies' Boys credentials, lusting after mate's girlfriends but again in polite fashion. But when confronted with aggression, they decide "to conserve your energy/Unless you feel it's right."

The only nag at the back of the skull is that these boys are a product of the dreaded Brit School. Maybe my snobbery about band biographies (if that's what it is) needs to be packed away until the time someone gives a fuck again. But I prefer the idea of guys getting together at art schools or wherever and ganging up before the music gets started, making their own rules rather than being educated in how to be pop stars or musicians. My time has passed. No one gets a grant for art school any more, I guess. Pop belongs to the comfortable.

Rating: Proper Pop Music out of The Brit School

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