Chelmsford born Jordan Cardy, A.K.A. Rat Boy, has pulled off quite a trick with Internationally Unknown, merging pop, punk, rap, reggae, dance, dub and ska into a feast of infectious tunes.
Chip on My Shoulder launches us into the album headfirst and screaming, a raucous punk effort that will have you bouncing around. There are a fair few all-out pop-punk episodes peppered across the album including I Wanna Skate, Dad’s Crashed Car and So What, which are tremendously enjoyable tributes to Green Day et al. But it’s when Rat Boy pulls in other elements that the album gets really interesting.
My Name Is Rat Boy takes a trip around Reggae, Ska and Dub while Rat Boy raps almost as energetically as he plays trashy guitars. Night Creature, is a slower Reggae track that throws in a bit of Dubstep to boot.
There are influence flying in from all over the place, from The Clash and The Sex Pistols, to Fatboy Slim, The Specials, De La Soul, Sisters of Mercy and Rage Against The Machine. Despite all that, Rat Boy manages to pull them all together into coherent and hugely enjoyable pop numbers.
Internationally Unknown is undoubtedly a pop album at its heart, drawing on the tried and tested ‘Ode to disaffected youth’ formula. However, I get the feeling that it’s a pop album that arrived a couple of decades too late.
It’s most certainly worth half an hour of your time, but with so many throwback influences it may struggle to land with a younger audience. Perhaps Rat Boy is a boy out of time.
Release date: 25 January 2019
Standout track: My Name Is Rat Boy
For fans of:
- Green Day
- The Specials
- Fatboy Slim