Calling yourself Rat Boy shows shows you’re trying to be anything but the stereotypical pop-star which is constantly churned out and spewed across the media. Antagonistic, genuine and relatable, both Rat Boy (aka Jordan Cardy) and his music defy this and carry strong social messages of what it’s like to be a teenager living in a fucked up Britain. Being 19 himself Cardy knows this all too well singing about being fired from Wetherspoons, being skint, ‘young, dumb and living off mum’ which is pretty much true of every teenager these days.
Sign On is the first release from Rat Boy following the mixtape he dropped last year which demoed tracks like Sportswear and Hanging Around which saw the self producing multi-instrumentalist quickly gather fans and bagging himself a slot supporting Circa Waves on their recent tour. It’s full of the cheeky and audacious attitude that you’d only expect of a teenager who’s been turned down from a job at McDonalds. He explains how he’s ‘got holes in the soles’ of his shoes and lives his life ‘in second hand clothes’ along to a strong but lighthearted guitar riff and pacey drum rhythm. It’s an interesting choice to do this as the ideas being raised throughout could easily be the basis for some sulky acoustic lament but Cardy knows that you can’t let things like this fuck you over as, frankly, the world won’t wait. In a way the track is almost telling the story of the modern day teen against life.
The sudden hype surrounding Rat Boy at the moment has seen the Essex act featured on some of the biggest blogs and music sharing sites which is only going to send his career in the right direction. His right on and forward attitude resonates perfectly with his audience who seem to totally understand everything he’s saying – something which was especially clear in their response to a photo of a t-shirt posted on Twitter reading ‘FUCK UKIP’. After all it’s been a long time since someone has actually spoken out about modern youth culture and Rat Boy’s challenging this through his music, whether you find it truthful or not.
Words by William Castile