The Cool Kids – When Fish Ride Bicycles

Today we get a relatively recent release- which was released on my [“my” being Mike (aka 40)] birthday July 12 of 2011.  Antonie “Sir Michael Rocks” Reed & Evan “Chuck Inglish” Ingersoll middle of the country fellas (Illinois & Michigan respectively)..are on the lineup today.

The Cool Kids – When Fish Ride Bicycles

Listen to it here: http://grooveshark.com/#!/playlist/The+Cool+Kids+When+Fish+Ride+Bicycles/68233466

Read about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cool_Kids#Discography

One year Ago RC listened to:  Sufjan Stevens – Illinois, a somewhat pleasant surprise for me.

Fun Facts: Mike attended Walter Payton College Prep High School.The members of The Cool Kids met in 2005 when Reed found a beat on MySpace that Ingersoll had produced.[3] The two met to discuss terms of the beat’s sale, and eventually ended up recording for two hours.[4] They were inspired by golden age hip hop and artists like Eric B. & Rakim.[5]

Chris:

Since this was my curiosity pick i’ll open up the conversation. My thoughts in choosing this was, “these dudes were awesome on Totally Flossed Out, i expect big things” then they released a couple of mixtapes that were utter garbage. I started to get nervous. Then they finished recording this one and it was shelved for about a year. Thats not good. They were part of a bidding war and they chose whatever label this is on so that they could have creative control and apparently, they shouldnt have creative control.

These dudes were good at one time.

This album sucks. Its so monotonous and boring that its hard to even do other things while listening to it. Its suckdom is distracting.

Josh:

The Cool Kids – When Fish Ride Bicycles: 3 stars

Precon: Some kind of hip hop outfit. I think Chris sent me a track or two back in the day, but I don’t really remember them. They’re on the NASA album too, but I can’t even remember one line, so my impression so far is that they’re forgettable. Hopefully, this album changes that.

Favorite Track: Get Right
Least Favorite: Bundle Up

The rapping isn’t my favorite but it’s not bad. It’s that slowed down, smoked out cadence that seems to be popular these days. The thing that irks me about this style is it sounds like they’re not putting much into it. Where’s the excitement, the inflection? I imagine them laid back on a couch with their eyes half closed. I guess it can hit you right if you’re in a real chill mood.
“I’m Park Place, you’re Marvin Gardens” sounds like a good line, but Marvin Gardens is a yellow property, and yellows are pretty expensive. Not only that, it’s the most expensive yellow, meaning for an extra $20 on the purchase price you get a much better return on investment once you develop the property. Park Place, on the other hand, is the cheaper of the dark blue properties, so you’re gonna pay the same price you would for houses on Boardwalk but get a significantly lower ROI. They didn’t think that one through.
Ghostface livens it up a little.
I listened to Roll Call twice and still missed Asher Roth.
This was ok. Their voices are kind of flat, but the lyrics are good and on some of the tracks they put a little more rhythm into their delivery which helps. The beats are serviceable, sometimes engaging, sometimes flirting with cheesiness. The really synthy ones reminds me of LA Symphony. Not groundbreaking but a decent new hip hop record.

Magic the Gath… *ahem*… Monopoly Card: Marvin Gardens

Marissa:

The Cool Kids-When Fish Ride Bicycles

Preconceived Notions: Never heard of them, but the name sounds like it should be an Indie Band in the vein of The Black Keys.  Or maybe that’s just because both bands last word starts with “K”.  Either way, it’s a blank slate in my mind, and sometimes, like Martha Stewart says, that’s a good thing.

As Listening:  Oh, this is most definitely not the genre I thought it was, and I’m kind of instantly disappointed.  I realize that I don’t listen to albums like this often in my own time, but are these guys bringing anything new to the table?  In “GMC” there’s one kind of interesting part that sounds like a synthesizer set on “Mars” mode, but then they just ignore it.
“Boomin’” is much more interesting musically, but I still don’t find anything new or interesting about the delivery or the
“Get Right” starts off nicely, sounding a like The Zombies’ “The Time of the Season”, but to be honest, it just made me want to hear that song.
Oh that chorus on “Swimsuits” at least changed things up a bit.  I think that this song stands out for me.  Maybe because the drum machine takes a back seat?
Whatever did happen to Asher Roth?  I remember the one song that hit big and he was all over the “who’s next” lists and then I haven’t heard anything since.  I mean I haven’t sought him out either, but still…

After Listening:
Well, I’ll say this for the album, I think it gets progressively more interesting, but that’s not difficult to do when you start off with 3 songs that could easily send people into a comatose state.  Parts of this were almost offensively boring, but I think the last three or so tracks brought some life to it.  I’m not certain if that’s enough to save an album, and there wasn’t any sort of reinventing the rims of hip hop, but some of the tracks, as tracks alone were interesting.  The vocals and subjects on the rhymes were thoroughly uninspired.  Yeah, we get it, Chicago is cold in the witner…and cars are cool…and chicks are hot…or something.  But overall, it’s just ok, at best.

Favorite track: Swimsuits/Summer Jam
Least Favorite: Rush Hour/GMC

Overall: 2.7

Mike:

Preconceived Notions:  Hip hop and/or rap. Recent. They don’t have big name recognition  among even my friends who really like this type of thing-which makes me curious as to what type of thing it actually is…

After Listening: CGR’s admission that this was a curiosity pick, and then his lamentation that it “sucks”.  Sort of stole my thunder at least when it comes to the album’s biggest and most unforgivable flaw: its monotony.  The Kids seem to have an extremely limited number of rhythms-somewhat ironic given that their backstory involves one of them trying to buy a beat from the other one.  Was that the only beat this dude had in his arsenal? It’s difficult to really explain how, but this record just sort of sits there in the middle of the sonic spectrum – we get tracks with just vocals and beats, then we get tracks with synths and keys – and yet everything is nearly instantly forgettable. In the case of the keyboards it’s a case of too much ruining the effect.  When they really 1st step out on a track like Boomin you think – “ok, maybe this is going somewhere, but by the time you get to oh..about Bundle up  4 songs later – it’s clear the keyboard element is a bit of a gimmick without direction.  Everything is so on beat – it strips away any sense of fun. Lyrically there are an abundance of sports references from Houston Oilers blue to a daily boxing routine – which are nice but there’s nothing here to really dwell on.

Favorite Track: “Summer Jam” – It’s not a great track, but it’s good and it’s the only one with any sort of personality or energy. Literally the only place on the album that I felt like I wasn’t trapped in some tight box of static direction. Maybe it’s the slight 80’s funk musical undertones….whatever, I wish more of the album had this vibe.

Overall: 1.434 I almost see where the Cool Kids are going, but the problem may be that I see further along than they do.  This entire album sounds both like isolated songs for a low grade mixtape, which somehow combined also sound as one cohesive beat in your ear-and not in a good way.  The “retro” beats, and the keyboard ideas are executed with zero finesse, which ultimately produces zero interest. The deliveries on the record are stale, static, boring…choose one, or choose two…so much so that I couldn’t care less what they are actually attempting to rhyme. The Cool Kids are either way lame, or so cool I just don’t get it.  Either way, I’m ok with that.

Seth:

The Cool Kids – When Fish Ride Bicycles

Preconceptions: None. Not even sure what the genre is.

After Listening: Oh, it’s “Indie” hip hop. Which I guess means they rap about Pabst Blue Ribbon instead of Crystal.

Great Whites on Shwinns: Rush Hour – So he’s smoking weed in grandpa’s Cutlass.. you know that’s gonna end with an old man getting his belt. GMC – Is this Gearhead Hip hop?

Guppies with tricycles: Boomin’ (featuring Tennille) turns out not to feature the Muskrat Love singer. That’s a huge disappointment. Penny Hardaway – the only thing more boring than basketball is songs about basketball players and the stuff they can buy.

Overall: Neither fish nor fowl, the Cool Kids aren’t as bad as most modern hip-hop but they accomplish this by being extremely adequate. No track was particularly interesting or terrible, leaving me soaking in an 85-degree bath of an album.

Rating: 2.9
Prelisten guess: 3.0

admin (196 Posts)

Record Club began in the cold, dank, snowmageddon scene that was New England of January 2011. We’re probably no different than you. We all work in cubicles, some in smaller, less private cubicles than others; that just means we have to be even sneakier about how we listen to our music. But we have to listen to our music, mostly as a way of saving our own personal sanity. Sometimes our opinions lead us to debates that may or may not be published in their entirety on this site, but I can promise you’ll at least get a glimpse of the way our minds work. The main goal is to find new music we like or find old music that we didn’t know we liked. Sometimes we succeed, sometimes it’s a total and complete disaster. After our ears have rejoiced or stopped bleeding we try something else. This is our pattern, every Tuesday and Thursday. Sometimes, when the club isn’t officially in session, just to keep everyone on their toes, we throw in a theme day. We’re beginning to run low on our original list, so please, if you have albums that you’d like us to review or themes that you’d like to see our playlist of, feel free to contribute. After all, we’re all in this together once we punch the time clock. So if you’re busy (or just plain bored) lurking in your cubicle as you read this join in. After all, life wasn’t meant to be lived staring at a computer screen. I guarantee you, it’s at least more fun when you plug the headphones in.


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