Riskee And The Ridicule – ‘Blame Culture’.
For our previous work on the band – Click Here.
Over two years ago a very young Musically Fresh received a review request from a band that would well and truly leave it’s mark and such a level anticipation in it’s wake that it left a gaping void.
That band was the Ashford grown Riskee And The Ridicule and within these past two years their third release and debut full-length Dawn Of The Dog hasn’t been forgotten. It was and indeed is an album that stylistically as well lyrically challenged the very fabric of contemporary Punk music and the state of mind of a nation that it so fervently loved and hated simultaneously.
Punk is Punk-Rock but Punk is also a whole host of other musical styles fused together by the belief that something is very wrong and the belief in strength of community. Riskee And The Ridicule charge home their message on the back of Punk, Hardcore, Ska, Reggae, Hip-Hop and Spoken Word and with the new album, Dawn Of The Dog is being given a run for it’s money. This is…
Riskee’s Ska-tinged Grime vocals are a raging torrent like they always have been and with ‘Nobody Likes Us’ a path is cut to your hearing. The elitist ship is finally sinking and the soul selling money makers aren’t attractive enough and are clearly transparent. This point is made via beautiful, intentional and aggressively ironic medicine on the back of a track well into old-school Punk territory.
‘Nobody Likes Us’ examines the general theme of idiosyncrasy within music and within the band’s own material in a track the four piece were always going to write, record and own.
‘Banger’ sees the band’s style take a rockier drone alongside harder backing vocals and more aggressive notions from their angry wordsmith. ‘Banger’ bashes narcissism but also oozes determination in a fight against what we don’t have and then when it’s done, it cracks the shits against a mentality that simply lazes over everything in ignorance.
‘Hipster’ was the first instalment given to the public eye. It embraced further the Punk-Rock stylistics of Dawn Of The Dog and the groove the three other noise-makers perfect in order to finally push home the band’s message. There’s no “I” in team.
We drown in many things, MF drowns in emails, others in laughter, many in sadness but what we really drown in is the society we unfortunately inhabit. That is the message of ‘Drown’. Not every collective is evil, even when it comes to money and business but Riskee And The Ridicule are aware of how much we are really subjugated with no matter to what extent.
Stylistically speaking, the mid paced melodic Punk is a real highlight with contrasting vocals across the front and backing board. Each of the four is heard perfectly individually but also perfectly as a unit with the melodic guitar lines truly standing tall before the educational Spoken Word verbally clips you round the ears.
Now I’d be lying if said it wasn’t hard going. It shocks the rhythm of the release and can be hard to follow at times but these are just passing thoughts. Go back and listen to it again and you’ll find an example of a man and band that care as well as understand the English language. That too.
The anger and resentment the band had two years ago has done nothing but endure, grow and burst from its confines through words and musical style.
You can’t stand Envy, yet you wear it, you criticise quite rightly and then hypocritically do the same thing. You self-inflict when you know it’s negative and you drink a fiery cocktail and wonder why you’re burnt out and yet you continue to destroy yourself. ‘Molotov Cocktails’ is perhaps one of the most hard-hitting on an album that probably frightens itself.
I may have rattled on about the meaning of this album as it’s hard not too but its compositional prowess is also certainly “something”. ‘Running On Air’ gives an interesting critique on the social state of things and this is made all the more effective by the band’s penchant for pop hooks. Yes, you heard me correctly. ‘Running on Air’ is another RATR-style pop song that marks one of the best on the album.
‘Party’ was another stellar video with more of the that welcoming sound that still punches you in the face regardless; in a nice way – honest.
‘Party’ ends with the conversation we all have with our livers, with a word to wise about humanities’ favourite pass time.
‘Elmley To Holloway’ is another example of how the more traditional Punk and melodic Rock-isms of Dawn Of The Dog have been explored on Blame Culture, and much like ‘Running On Air’ it is one of the more easy listening on the album but also one of the best.
‘Backwords’ brings the tone down again, unplugs the set-up and breaks out the acoustic guitars for a welcome slice of Grime and Punk poetry, again with thoughts straight to words and then onto your ears without a second passing.
‘Backwords’ also has somewhat of a hidden gem within its already expressive lyrics, as the operative words in many of the verses are used twice but reversed in order to convey the songs meaning as subliminally as it is obviously. Said gem will be more lovingly attributed in the sleeve of the CD hardcopy with Jimbo clearly in approval.
‘Villain’ boasts more of the yin and yang Punk pessimistic realism with its ultimate positivity and determination. I’ll give you a moment to ponder that.
… And we’re back! ‘Villain’ is the Punk-Rock song I’ve been waiting for since ‘This Barren Land’. It rumbles along in 80’s Hardcore-esque abrasion and proves that despite the band’s eclectic sound and influences, the simpler Punk sound often sees them at their best. – ‘Imagine if you’re a better human than what you claim.’
‘Villain’ also (obviously) ends in a torrent of Punk poetry with quotes for days before ‘Daddy’s Boots’ breaks in with more proof of Riskee’s vocal development clear and shining.
I could go on for a time about why this song is so important, on why this band capture the very essence of Punk and more importantly modern Punk but I’ll leave that to you and say but one thing quite unprofessionally – it’s a banger.
‘We’ll Never Belong’ is a 90’s Punk/Pop-Punk song and it’s fantastic. The band show their ages as they, much like myself, either caught latter days of or lived within legacy of Punk’s 90’s resurgence and all that came after. It’s the classic and somewhat cliche anthem that these releases need but a positive cliche nonetheless.
Blame Culture pushes the sound of Riskee And The Ridicule further, forces the listener to think and revaluate in such a way that it surprisingly isn’t particularly “preachy” and if it is, then it’s doing it out of caring, rather than arrogance or self importance.
Blame Culture was recorded via funding from the band’s fans, an impressive feat and something Riskee And The Ridicule will likely never forget.
You can find everything you need below:
- For updates, visit the band on Facebook, Twitter and their Official Website.
- You can find the band’s music to date spread across, iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Google play and bandcamp.
- Blame Culture can also be found via the above.
#Stay Fresh – I need to have a sit down.