Welcome to your new favourite band! Bold words I know, but bear with me on this. They may have been around a few years now, this being their third album along with a few EP releases but “Body Bag Your Scene” should be the album that launches Riskee & The Ridicule out of the DIY scene and to the forefront of the UK punk explosion. Whilst this is released on Bomber Music, previously home to bands like Random Hand, The Skints and Jaya The Cat, it’s a true DIY effort, having been financed by the band and fan pledges which gave them the freedom to write their strongest record yet.
Tackling so many different targets over the course of the album – the media, politics, social classes, sex etc. – may seem like a scattergun approach but, despite this, theirs is a focused attack that hits its target every time. Second track “Kaboom!”, and first single to be released, is a great example of this, holding a mirror up to mass media, highlighting how it’s controlled by the rich for their own agenda. The lyrics are sharp and direct but the energy from the rest of the band turn this into a real dancefloor smash, making you both move and question your thought process.
After the high energy start, things slow down a little for the intro to “Our Time”, allowing Scott to stretch his vocals, something that he did to great effect on their acoustic EP “They Need Us To Believe” last year. The high energy tempo and delivery quickly returns though with the song drawing a line in the sands of the past and proclaiming it “our time” to change things. It’s an attitude that’s prevalent across the album – seize the moment, make a change, do it yourself, nothing’s impossible. Strong messages indeed.
That message carries into the throbbing menace of title track “Body Bag Your Scene”, mixing the alt-grime vocals with some alternative 90s style rock riffs along with Jimbo’s now legendary screams. Before the only real lull on the album in “Black, White & Grey”, which is more restrained and it’s that lack of impact, certainly compared across the record as a whole, that stops the song taking off.
That’s not to say that they can’t do restrained well, as “In The Dark” follows and is a real highlight. A grim Romeo & Juliet tale of drug addiction paints a dark, ugly picture of the underbelly of life with the lyrics making you feel like an observer to the story that’s being played out. It’s so powerful that you’ll finish the track and feel dirty and in need of a wash.
“Sellout” follows and provides a well needed pick me up after the bleakness of the previous track. It’s another infectious energy rush highlighting the crisis of local DIY venues shutting down and the destruction of town centres. I defy you to not scream along after a couple of listens.
“Sex” sees the boys take on the misogyny and hypocrisy of the sex industry and antiquated laws on sex offenses. Once again, I need to highlight the intelligence behind the lyrics here as on every listen I’m getting more and more from every song.
Taking a right turn at the signpost marked hardcore, “Cut Your Teeth” is a raging beast of aggression that also contains one of my favourite lyrical couplets in “trust me I’ll always try to persuade my cynics, I’ll have a broom handle hanging out your arse like it’s quidditch”. It’s fair to say they may not be big Harry Potter fans.
“For Old Times’ Sake” slows things down again whilst touching on a number of topics – getting old, male suicide and people not wanting you to evolve – which shows a different side to the band that was hinted at on the “They Need Us To Believe” EP. It displays an assuredness to their songwriting craft.
The last song harks back to the beginnings of the band and reflects the life of many of the bands that you listen to. “D.I.Y” is a defiant FU to the system, to the corporations that can’t see beyond the latest greatest trend and anyone that says you can’t “do it yourself”. Whipping up the energy levels again with another massive singalong chorus, in fact you could pick pretty much every track and be singing along within moments, it a perfect closing statement from the band.
Having followed the band since the debut album, “Dawn of the Dog”, I’ve seen the development in sound and style that now sees them crawling out of the DIY scene and proudly screaming from the rooftops. When speaking with any of the band, you can feel the pride in this album and rightly so – in fact, they are arguably downplaying how good this album is. Their best yet, certainly. Album of the year, maybe – it’s definitely a contender. They have taken the sounds of the street, grime, punk, rap and merged them into a coherent beast of an album that will kill the posers and wannabes. Body bag your scene, exactly!