“All of the time that you’re wanting more and more – whether it’s money, recognition or fame – you’re never really truly enjoying the moment that you’re in. Right now, we don’t have anyone telling us what to do and that’s priceless. The moment is ours.”
Riskee and The Ridicule formed in Kent, “The Garden Of England”, when frontman Scott Picking, aka Riskee, happened upon his musical counterpart in Jimbo Aglony. The garden wasn’t so fruitful in terms of exciting art though and their urge to scratch a musical itch and create something was so palpable that the pair immediately started writing together. Soon realising that they
needed to share their songs with a live audience; they headed to an open mic night spot. Several bouts of nervous vomiting, one showstopping set and a riotous response which blew the veterans on the circuit out of the water and the two soon realised that they were onto something special and needed to expand their sound.
The rhythm section soon arrived with David Thomas (Bass) and Matt Verrell (Drums) and Riskee and The Ridicule became a powerhouse of a genre-mixing-pot. Combining Scott’s politically-charged Grime MC background, Jimbo’s hardcore tendencies, Dave’s broad bass playing and Matt’s pop-punk history, the band found that they were able to collaborate and produce something fresh without ever sounding confused. A tour-de-force of politics, protest and punk that rests amongst motives of The Clash and Minor Threat, relentless streams of wit, literacy and observational accuracy in the lyricism to parallel The Smiths and the Grime scene, and a barrage of hooks seeped in a heavy cloak that evoke the likes of Gallows and Refused; every member’s influence is allowed to coexist on record and on stage amidst the genuine and raw energy.
The band released their debut album, Dawn Of The Dog, in 2014 to critical acclaim and it propelled them to tour the UK and Europe multiple times, including momentous sets at Indigo in the iconic O2 Arena and The 100 Club in London as well as supporting The King Blues on their return tour in 2016. The recording of the debut was a baptism of fire for the members but one that made them realise the potential of the band. As a timestamp of both their personal lives and the broader cultural conditions, Dawn Of The Dog was created as an album “by the people, for the people”. Delivered with charm, humour and undeniable
veracity – Scott’s lyrics connect to a bigger picture, living the day in the life of a thinking worker, the “us”: grafting incessantly, living in nostalgia whilst watching gentrification alter our hometowns before our eyes.
The social and political climates have changed even more drastically since the release of Dawn Of The Dog and Riskee and The Ridicule are acutely aware of it. Now, cultures and groups are finding themselves lost, forgotten, abused, marginalised and unloved at an alarmingly rapid rate. The returning solace of music that speaks to and for the people is ferocious, uncompromising and something that Riskee and The Ridicule offer in abundance.
The new album titled Blame Culture is here and it’s one that promises honesty, energy and thought-provoking material that we all need today, as the band elaborates on:
“Not being scared to say what you think is vital and if there was ever time that music needed to say something, it’s now. With so much music around that says nothing and hypnotises everyone into stagnation, someone should be leading the opposing charge and reinvigorating. A lot of people have lost their humanity and it’s a very sorry state of affairs. The new album follows a story and brings a point across that anyone living through the political turmoil we are facing at the moment will understand.”
However, that’s not to say the album is pure politics, the Kent quartet has managed to create a record full of fun and hooks with choruses that will have their ever-growing and raucous crowds screaming the words back at them. The mixture of politics and fun is one that Riskee and The Ridicule has perfected, as displayed in their recent single and video for forthcoming album track “PARTY”. Combining a live setting with their expanding and incredibly diverse crowd alongside a message that shuns the media’s fear-mongering and manipulation surrounding issues of immigration and diverse cultures. The band couldn’t be more clear about where they stand: with unity and respect.
It has already received critical acclaim with Dan Stoten from The Punk Archive reviewing the album:
“I seriously think that this is a special piece of music, a special piece of art that the world needs right now. Some of the highlights here aren’t just album highlights: they’re genre highlights, decade highlights. I’m so proud of this band for producing what can only be called a masterpiece.“
Blame Culture is a collection of powerful, hook-laden and passionate punk-rock songs that reach out to every listener as an accompaniment through the troughs in life whilst always keeping an eye on the peaks ahead. Get it now on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Deezer and Bandcamp.