With their sophomore release, When Fish Ride Bicycles, The Cool Kids (Green Label Sound) show off slick production and spectral sound thanks to production contributions from the likes of Pharrell Williams (Neptunes) and Travis Barker (Blink 182), as well as the duo’s own Chuck Inglish.
Clearly an herbal medication-enhanced inspiration, WFRB boasts the usual bragadocious rap clap-trap—chicks, cash, weed…— but their laid-back style is by no means lazy or derivative. The boys (Inglish and partner in crime, Sir Michael “Mikey” Rocks) lyrics may more often than not be delivered at a sedated pace, but are fresh in any case.
Take for instance, the Midwest winter chillin’ ballad, “Bundle Up,” “I dug holes trying to grow my seeds / I got plug like the back of a screen, man / You got designs on the back of your jeans man / They steamin’, I’m cold as a lean cuisine / Comin’ fresh out the freezer, I’m clean to the Caesar/The only third grader in the school with a beeper.”
The other big standout here is the antithesis of “Bundle Up.” “Get Right” speeds up the tempo—thaws out if you will—and wrings out an inspirational lyric for summer. From here When Fish Ride Bicycles keeps up the gallop with speedier raps and hip-shaking beats.
On “Swimsuits” (featuring Mayer Hawthorne) the title pretty much speaks for itself. “Roll Call” sounds like a perfect live hit, with contributions from Asher Roth, Chip tha Ripper and Boldy James. And, “Summer Jam” (featuring Maxine Ashley) rounds out the album in a breezy linen dress, Malibu and pineapple in one hand and a spliff in the other.
In a nut-shell, When Fish Ride Bicycles is The Cool Kids’ four seasons. Not a stinker in the bunch and a 4-star release in this fellow Midwesterner’s book.
You can stream the full album at: http://whenfishridebicycles.com.
The Cool Kids are currently on tour, hitting The New Parish in Oakland on July 28, Audiotistic in Los Angeles on July 30, Club Congress in Tuscon on July 31, and Fox Theatre in Boulder on August 2, with dates following that include Lollapalooza and the Brooklyn Bowl.