by / December 5th, 2011 /

Rubberbandits – Serious About Men

 1/5 Rating

(Lovely Men)

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.

Listen: Spotify | Bandcamp | Soundcloud | Youtube

  • Colm

    Got the CD this morning and I haven’t stopped listening to it. Top class, I disagree entirely with the reviewer here when he says ‘any genuinely good backing would distract from the fact that this is comedy first and foremost’. If you dont mind me asking Daryl which tracks have the not ‘genuinely good backing’ The one thing about the Bandits is that the backing tracks are always top notch and generally mine a wider array of musical territory than any band around at the moment. I honestly wonder if the reviewer gave this more than a cursory spin I definitely expect more from state, seriously it reads like a school boy essay, Plus I assume when he writes ‘weary of duo’s potential’ he actually means ‘wary’, a typo is a typo but this one changes the meaning of the sentence Apologies for the bitching but I was looking forward to this review. 

  • colmahhh

    did the reviewer actually listen to the album? – all very vague!

  • Daryl

    To Colm: I’m afraid typo’s are typo’s, although that one seems to have been changed so I guess someone in charge saw your comment or realised the mistake. You obviously enjoy the backing music which is fair enough, it is enjoyable but I wouldn’t say it’s impressive as music in any way. If any serious artist released that music it would get slated but this was given 4 out of 5 because in the context of the bandits’ humour it works really well. If you hear a song of theirs being played by a DJ or anyone else then they are doing so because of it’s comedy value not it’s musical value. 

    To colmahhh: We felt it unnecessary to do any in depth dismantling of the songs seeing as everyone’s heard nearly all of them a million times before we get anywhere near them. This was a look at the success of their career so far and how the album plays into that. Still, the State elders do not tolerate vagueness and I’m sure that my back will be subject to the most vicious of ceremonial whippings by dawn.

  • dai

    Jesus!Lay off the poor reviewer!!He gave it a damn good review.What did you expect?A full bar review and an album of the year claim?

  • Stacey Ní Bhíonn

    The last line of the review is a cracker. Must get my hands on the album soon.

  • Santa

    The review actually is bullshit, and poorly researched. How exactly the ‘leap in production’ between Bags of Glue and the more newly-penned stuff is obvious I don’t know, since they’ve completely re-recorded the old tracks for the album.

    And the whole reason the Rubberbandits humour has endured is that their backing tracks, as Colm pointed out, are often brilliant. In fact, Spastic Hawk is just a very, very good tune and not ever really comedy. There are so many points to be made about this album, the reviewer’s obbo been huffing bags of glue.

  • Colm

    See the thing is Daryl the backing music is impressive in lots of ways. From the genuine old school hip hop sound [who in main stream hip hop nowadays is going back to 1992 to mine the sounds of Public Enemy, not many but Bandits are clearly very serious about this] of Willie O Dea, Pure Awkward, Antney’s Eye, Greyhound Shuffle…to the beautiful chord progressions and clever hooks of some of the [relatively] newer tunes such as Horse Outside, Spoiling Ivan, Rosin Ba Mhaith Liom, and Blackman plus flawless playing and production [90% of which is done by the band themselves]. And then you have the electro pop of Spastic Hawk with Blindboy’s soaring guitar solo at the end and the prodigy influenced Diouble Dropping Yokes with Eamon De Valera. The reason DJ s play the Bandits in the clubs is because the tunes are banging end of. Where you say ‘ If any serious artist released that music it would get slated’ [even though I believe you said this in anger over my review of your review…welcome to the land of constructive criticism Daryl]  Well in reply I say to you that if any reviewer who had a serious background in the art of songwriting and production wouldn’t dream of slating their work because they d have an idea of what is involved.   

  • Aimée

    Just stumbled across this review and really enjoyed it. Hoping it was writtem by my long lost school buddy of the same name! Aimée M