"I'm Internationally Unknown" boasts the title track of Essex-born Rat Boy's new album.
However, after being sampled by Kendrick Lamar and having been given studio time by Rancid's Tim Armstrong, there is no way that the self-proclaimed rodent isn't well aware that he is gradually rising to fame. Following a string of sold out dates in his 2018 UK tour, it is clear that, hidden beneath his whiskered alias, Jordan Cardy is desperately clinging to the working-class aesthetic that proved so popular with his debut, 'Scum'.
Rapping about how he 'ain't never going home', it is clear from the grammatical errors alone that Rat Boy aims for Internationally Unknown to be a soundscape of teenage angst and rebellion. In this, he deserves to be congratulated: from crashing dad's car to 'sitting Smoking spliff sixteen undercover', Cardy's done it all. Even the seemingly sweet message to 'Follow Your Heart' is instantly countered by the fact it's only a result of 'when the people give you nothing'.
Although, despite satisfying my cravings for some sort of 'Revolution', it
appears the artist's time in LA has drained his political charge that was fluid throughout his past releases. In Scum, he complained about 'seeing Theresa May who we didn't appoint' and then refers to the 'heartless government' once again in Civil Disorder. Despite these issues' current prevalence and his clear anger surrounding them, for some reason Rat Boy has chosen to leave Internationally Unknown almost completely void of his governmental opinions.
Although his style could easily be likened to Jamie T, Rat Boy's overall composition is what makes him unique. Attitude fuelled 'So What' begins with a dialogue in which a manager fires a worker for not making his burgers properly. To those not well versed in The World Of Rat Boy, this may purely add context and comedic value - but hats off to Cardy's ability to continue a narrative through two albums, here referring back to Scum's own restaurant, 'Big Fucka Burgers'. Somehow, 'Night Creature' creates an indie-rap-reggae hybrid, and it works surprisingly well. Co-producer Tim Armstrong's Californian influence is especially clear in 'Don't Hesitate', which presents a more Americanised version of youth as it rants about gun violence and the resulting 'murder on the news'. A highlight of the album however is undoubtedly the final track, 'Silverlake' - the piano laced melody tells us of how if the band
stick together '6000 miles from London', they're 'gonna be alright', before launching into contrasting yet iconic punk guitar riffs.
If Rat Boy continues to produce music with this much thought, diversity and personality, it will not be long before the title rings completely untrue.
WORDS BY KATIE