Review: Rat Boy – ‘Move’

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40%
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Middling

Rat Boy's latest fits its titular bill, but vocal lethargy extinguishes any fulfilment.

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Rat Boy’s apparent apathy to all that is going on around him grows increasingly. Perhaps it is purely the facade of a young songwriter poised to explode with a lackadaisical Jamie T impression and a dodgy MP3 of some Beastie Boys record. New single ‘Move’, however, suggests some real difficulties in transferring potential “NRG” into a consistent recorded package for a more discerning crowd.

On early listens, the basis of ‘Move’ itself is reasonably enjoyable. Its heavy and exuberant guitars are evidently light-hearted crowd-pleasers, and they certainly provide “a groove that makes your head spin”. Sadly, the groove is not where the head spinning ends. With every word that stumbles from Rat Boy’s mouth over the song, a little part of it cries. By the last throes of the final chorus, which itself outstays a welcome and shatters his repeated promise to “never say the same thing twice”, only some contractual obligation to his record label appears to be keeping him from hibernation.

A song as potentially energetic and fun as ‘Move’ deserves a performer who can execute it as such. Gaze all too briefly away from the rocky melodies and allow yourself to actually hear Rat Boy in his struggle to mumble out of bed and you will witness a squib becoming thoroughly dampened. Maybe, as it appeared when he spoke to The Edge in October, all the oxygen is being exhausted on anarchic gigs and kicking piss. Then again, maybe that grating aura of disenfranchisement is exactly the desired effect.

‘Move’ is out now via Parlophone.

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Official email person, rambly music writer, and former Records Editor at The Edge. Often found playing pop music too loud on Surge Radio.

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