Rat Kid Cool
Slacker Rock
RIYL: Mac DeMarco, The Front Bottoms, Kimya Dawson

As 2018 commences, Rat Kid Cool might just be the spirit animal for all those to slough off the anxiety carried throughout 2017. All songs were penned by New Jersey’s own Ciaran O’Donnell, who has put together a tongue-in-cheek Year of the Rat. While some songs carry some explicit content, that’s easy to overcome by the amount of joy this record brings.

Commencing with the mantra for just about every millennial in the U.S. right now, “No F*cks,” discusses new beginnings for all those mid-20 somethings looking for their place in the world. Despite the saccharine tone of the song, lyrically, O’Donnell seems to be teetering on an existential crisis. There is also a sense of ambivalence here, that continues as a theme through the rest of the record.

As the record progresses, we’re met with songs like and “You Don’t Know Sh*t” and “Sharpie” both songs that are wrought with nihilism and disenfranchisement. In fact, “Sharpie” contains what is bound to be one of the hardest hitting, truthful lyrics of the year: “Consider the fact you’re already replaceable, all of your history is completely erasable.” Now, while this might just be talking about the fluidity of relationships, it seems O’Donnell is looking deeper than that: We are all cogs in a machine, and that’s a heavy wait to weigh.

Ultimately, this record serves as a combination between a meme, and a musical version of Rick & Morty. While it seems that RKC is poking fun at their generation, there are some deep-seeded truths throughout the record. From having to move back into your parents’s house in your late 20s, to dealing with having to start your life over, Rat Kid Cool strikes a chord for all of us searching for our place in the world.

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