Riskee And The Ridicule - 'Too Young to Be Blue' EP Review
1. Young & Beautiful
2. Blue Jacket
3. Backwords 2
Kent lads Riskee and the Ridicule, like everyone, had their world turned upside down last year. Touring stopped, gigs were cancelled. Not only were band practices off the menu but the only way you could hang out with your fellow bandmates was digitally. This was a real shame for them as their last album 2019’s “Body Bag Your Scene” really helped elevate the band, getting their name on a lot of people’s lips as one to watch.
The band managed to keep some momentum by channelling themselves into a new EP called “Too Young To Be Blue”. Here, they’re able to reflect on the past year and a bit where we’ve seen things disappear down the toilet quickly, where politicians and prime ministers constantly about face on promises and are ready to mislead the public, all while lining their pockets with some filthy lucre.
First up is their sublime cover of ‘Young & Beautiful’ which was originally performed by Lana Del Ray for “The Great Gatsby” soundtrack. They make it their own, swapping string arrangements with traditional guitar, bass and drums, adding bombast to it. It’s a brilliant take and really lends itself to Scott’s impassioned vocals. There’s a great drop in the middle eight building itself back up into the final chorus.
Next up is ‘Blue Jacket’ where the band really let themselves rip. The titular blue jacket refers to the colour of the new UK passport which they use as a metaphor to describe the whole clusterfuck that is Brexit. The lyrics are barbs and poignant, with a few nods to the pandemic and the loss of liberties., It’s a stark reminder that by voting for freedom the people who wanted to leave the EU have shot themselves in the foot by actually adding more red tape and bureaucracy into their lives, as well as allowing racism and xenophobia to come to the fore.
The final track is based on ‘Backwords’ from their 2017 album “Blame Culture”. The band feel that now we’ve endured enough political and social bs to warrant ‘Backwards 2’ which is part sequel, part expansion of the original song. It’s blistering, the band showing how words are used as manipulation for the masses. Compared to its older sibling, the song is angrier with more energy and is better for it.
Riskee and the Ridicule are intelligent Punk with a groove, a band that isn’t afraid to stand up to be counted. They manage to take the DNA of Rage Against the Machine and splice it with The Clash, taking elements of Rock and Hip Hop while calling down a righteous noise. There’s enough here to sink your teeth into, tunes to slam and bounce too while feeding your soul with political rhetoric that Joe Strummer would be proud of. It may be only a short EP to some but “Too Young To Be Blue” is nothing more than essential listening.
Website - riskeeandtheridicule.com
Review - Scott Hamilton