When copied CDs of the Rubberbandits’ prank calls were being passed around secondary schools at the start of the millennium, few would have guessed that the lads would make it this far. Safe in the haunty clutches of Limerick city their popularity grew rapidly on the cusp of cult hits like ‘Bags of Glue’ but people remained wary of duo’s potential outside of the county, questioning whether or not their homespun knacker-antics would translate to the rest of the Ireland. Even after they became a national sensation there was still some doubt in regards to their exportability. Now after a nine-date sold out tour in the UK plus appearances on both Channel 4 and MTV, there seems to be no disagreement as to the capabilities of Blindboy and Mr. Chrome.
Considering the fact that this is only their second release, the Rubberbandits have been hugely successful. By utilising sites like Myspace and Youtube they’ve managed to circumvent the regular channels of prosperity. The number of online views are what really carved their career – 530,000 hits in 72 hours for ‘Horse Outside’ says a lot – and Serious About Men encapsulates everything thus far. The first CD Boy Talk sports all the favourites of the last few years, ‘Up Da Ra’, ‘Pure Awkward’, and ‘Willie O Dea’ to name but a few, while second disc Man Talk contains new tracks like ‘Buddies in Boston’ and ‘Danny Dyer’. Both discs are punctuated by those seminal prank calls and even though they’re dotted throughout in no particular order, they highlight the evolution of the Bandits’ humour, from juvenile mischief to cultural satire. Alongside the humour’s progress is the advance in production. The sound quality takes a noticeable leap from ‘Bags Of Glue’ to recent track ‘I Like To Shift Girls’. Of course everything is still covered in a layer of cheese but that’s understandable, any genuinely good backing would only distract from the fact that this is comedy first and music second.
The duo will have high hopes for Christmas No.1 this year after being stonewalled by X-Factor winner Matt Cardle in 2010. While ‘Black Man’, doesn’t exactly have the wholesome qualities you’d expect from a festive single it does have the release of Serious About Men adding some serious weight to the cause. Taking into account the slickness of the sleeve, designed by fellow Limerick man Kevin King, and the additional content inside there is a genuine reason for owning a physical copy. Who knows, if things go well for the lads we may all be having spastic hawk instead of turkey this year.