posted on December 18, 2010 06:52
This is an irregular post, a thing I don't do without reason - not a review as such, but rather an exhortation to buy the Rubberbandits' single between now and the 23rd. "Horse Outside" is its name, and you can buy it in record stores or on iTunes.
You may remember that last year, there was a campaign to usurp Simon Cowell's flavour of the month with "Killing in the Name Of" by Rage Against the Machine. This was successful in the UK, but in Ireland the hordes of tween girls overcame the more alternative among us to put that wholly forgettable X-factor winner, Joe McElderry, in first place. Sadly for those girls, their investment came to nothing, as whatever-his-name-was announced that he was gay sometime during the year.
This year, we have an equally forgettable X-factor winner, Matt Cardle, singing an equally forgettable cover, with the interesting addition of a guitar every so often. Thankfully, it seems that we have this time steeled ourselves against this invasion of the lowest sort of English culture, and global commercialism. The Rubberbandits, a Limerick hip-hop duo, are on the way to the number one spot.
I need not tell you about the Rubberbandits, whose video "Horse Outside" has topped 2.5 million views on Youtube. I may, however, tell you why you should go immediately to iTunes and buy their single. This band are capable of the most cutting, intelligent satire that I have come across in recent popular music. They have held a startlingly clear mirror up to many facets modern Irish culture, and the reflection is not always attractive. At first, I imagined that they were unaware of the extent of their social criticism, but hearing them regularly in the national media, I think they are genuinely clever people, quite aware of what they are creating.
Another reason to respect them is the number of feathers they've ruffled among the mindless, caipín-wearing traditionalists of this country. The criticisms leveled against them on Joe Duffy's radio programme, and their own elegant rebuttals, are absolutely hilarious. It seems that singing about sex, drugs and criminal activities is still rebellious in this country, but the Rubberbandits do it in such an original, way - intelligent and profane at once - that they deserve the notice even of music snobs. And, most importantly, they deserve the Christmas number one single.