Sunday Music: Sentimental Sing-a-Long’s with Rat Boy

Imagine this: your kid finds some of your old records, gets inspired, and a few years later is making a record with the people in your record collection. Such is the experience of Jordan Cardy, aka Rat Boy (and Brett, his father, and Tim Armstrong of Operation Ivy, Rancid fame and Transplants fame).

The new Rat Boy album, “Internationally Unknown,” works. Punky, with plenty of 80s-90s rap, pop-punk, and Punk-o-Rama rhythms mixed in, its got the slacker/skate vibe required to fit right in with some of the music that followed Armstrong later in his career.

Two tracks that deserve added attention are the leadoff track, “CHIP ON MY SHOULDER,” and the closing track “SILVERLAKE.” The latter in particular nails one of my favorite pieces of late 80s/90s culture in particular: the sing-a-long, punk-melancholy anthem. He may be internationally unknown for the time being, but being out of place and out of time in LA and writing a song like “SILVERLAKE” to capture that feeling is something truly special.

The whole album is worth at least a spin. There’s something trying to come out of this, it will be interesting to watch Rat Boy develop further from here.

Check out Jon Caramanica’s piece in NYT for some additional backstory, and the Popcast episode where it’s the lead story.

And, for good measure, the single (perhaps?)

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