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December 2018 / January 2019
Review

Rat Boy - SCUM

Rat Boy isn’t just one of the most exciting new acts on the planet right now, he’s also one of the most unique.
Rat Boy - SCUM
Published: 10:33 am, August 07, 2017
Rat Boy isn’t just one of the most exciting new acts on the planet right now, he’s also one of the most unique.

'Album' of 'the Week'


Label: Parlophone
Released: 11th August 2017
Rating: ★★★★

Individuality is everywhere. Every artist is a talent operating in their own special sphere. Most of them, in all honestly, aren’t actually the beautiful snowflakes they’re made out to be - existing as simple iterations on an existing formula. It’s always been that way. But there are exceptions.

Rat Boy isn’t just one of the most exciting new acts on the planet right now; he’s also one of the most unique. It’s taken a while for us to get here, sure. We were expecting a debut album twelve months ago that never came, but some things are worth waiting for. In fact, it’s that wait that may have birthed a record worthy of an act that’s been gathering buzz for longer than most.

Unconfined to one single idea, ‘Scum’ is a melting pot of hyperactive energy. Skipping between styles, blended in one ceaseless mix, it’s the UK indie underground’s very own Grand Theft Auto radio station. From the stalking sugar rush of ‘Turn Around M8’ to the Britpop balladry of ‘I’ll Be Waiting’, they’re songs linked by a thread, but able to punch out on their own. For most artists, it’s an approach that would result in samey audio soup, but with Rat Boy’s disparate influences, it sounds every bit as vital as anything on the airwaves, real or fake.

With 25 tracks, skits, intervals and other assorted nuggets on the deluxe cut, at no point does ‘Scum’ drag or outstay its welcome. There’s the slacker spirit of Beck, the raw confidence of the Beastie Boys and the urchin cheek of Jamie T, but at heart, it’s all Rat Boy; never staying still long enough to become any one thing. That would be boring, and that’s the one thing Rat Boy will never, ever be. Stephen Ackroyd

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