I Hate Ricky and The Genre Crossing Punk Of ‘Mulligan’.

I Hate Ricky – Nashville, Tennessee, USA.


The Nashville based I Hate Ricky are very open with what the are trying to achieve. The band seek to emulate the rawness of the original inceptions of Punk-Rock and its fiery successor Hardcore and merge those sonic ideals with their many (and sometimes distant) cousins further down the family tree.

Their debut album is titled Mulligan, a word with many meanings and uses and perfectly situated to describe the process of this albums fruition.

However, as important as that is, the eleven tracks of heartfelt and varied Punk music are far more so and with ‘Autumn Rising’ and its near-perfect 90’s Punk/Pop-Punk sound reminiscent of both No Use For A Name and a less nasal New Found Glory, you feel your interests significantly pricked.

‘Let Me Go’ leans closer to the genre changing sound Bad Religion premiered with Suffer and No Control with a slightly modern edge as it lambasts a God that seemingly loves his creations, despite their lives standing at a loss. This harder edged lyrical attitude continues with ‘New Song’ which moves further along the Punk tree of stylistics with a more mid-tempo modern approach that breathes bitter realisation.

‘I Lost Everything’ hints at a more Alternative Rock sound but also has its nods to Alkaline Trio in its dark self-deprecating wit. It is clear at this stage, even with the relatively lyrically simplistic and blunt ‘I Lost Everything’, that this is a record written from within.

With ‘Beautiful Demon’, for a split second you feel as if Placebo may have recorded a feature for the album. The track carries a vocal drone reminiscent of Brian Molko and the slow Alt. Rock rumble of that particular staple of British Rock.

‘How Does Make You Feel?’ pens a chronicle of a bad time on the back of playful instrumentation. However in regard to the continuity with the release as a whole by this point, despite the direction in general changing from to track to track regardless, it does feel somewhat out of place.

That said, ‘How Does Make You Feel?’ is a story telling track that is distinctly American in style and really wouldn’t work any other way. The real question posed at this point is how is an album of small and teasing curveballs going to follow this comparatively large curveball? Well, you guessed it MFers, with another curveball, that may overall be the best track on the album as a whole… ‘Desperation’.

With a driven and more sombre, darker tone and guitar work that sits somewhere between The Offspring and After The Fall. ‘Desperation’ prompts the fist in the air anthem of the release with its sonic prowess and determination to go down fighting.

‘Zombie Blood’ almost leads you to expect southern-style Hard Rock before quite surprisingly breaking into a composition that has probably spent some considerable time with Nirvana in its free hours before then admittedly flirting with the Hard Rock aesthetic anyway.

By track nine you’re not necessarily unimpressed but you are somewhat confused. This album was a product of newer material as well as material nearer to the band’s formation. Many of the tracks were rerecorded and rehashed which is no negative but has left the album feeling somewhat disjointed at times rather than eclectic.

However, on the other side of said argument, I Hate Ricky have taken us through a journey of Punk and Alternative Rock, showing themselves for who they are wholly in a risky but admirable move this early in their career. ‘Goodbye Color’ is another shorter number, giving another pop-hooked plot that is actually quite refreshing after the harder edge of the previous tracks.

In ‘Not A Care In The World’ the precarious nature of everyday life is explored in a fast and upbeat 90’s Punk song that sends the mind to legends of Punk in this vein, Pulley.

Eleven of eleven stands up to closing duty with a cover and a (very good one at that) of one of the better tracks of the latter parts of The Offsprings career, ‘You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid’ from 2008’s Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace.

The influence of the band on the sound of I Hate Ricky is all the more apparent after the cover plucks its closing notes on an album that despite leaving you disjointed and confused, covers a lot of very satisfying and varied ground.

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Matthew Speer

Matt has 2.1 BA in History and is most likely somewhere in his twenties. He enjoys a wide range of music, but has a strong penchant for Punk-Rock. Originally he hails from the Isle Of Wight off the South Coast of England, UK and spends most of his time around England's South-West.

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