REVIEW: The Cool Kids – “When Fish Ride Bicycles”

The Cool Kids / When Fish Ride.. / Green Label Sound

While the rap game stumbles through a haze of addiction problems, youths revolting and that sticky green stuff, one independent duo has decided to play it straight. For The Cool Kids, they’ve chosen the right path, letting mixtapes seduce camera lenses to the point where an official debut was necessary. Their self-produced effort When Fish Ride Bicycles continues to do the opposite of everyone else that can craft lines and rhyme syllables – not letting an inflated ego speak into the mic. Smooth hip-hop chants like “GMC” and “Gas Station” spread open pages of rap’s history when terms like “ill” were commonly used to describe a verse or hook. It easily defines the flow both Antoine Reed and Evan Ingersoll roll with, one that quietly accents grandiose jams (“Penny Hardaway”) and chit-chat about sippin’ coconuts in the Bahamas (“Swimsuits”).

But don’t think The Cool Kids consume fame and fame alone; their ear and eye for talent drips from When Fish Ride Bicycles as the beats stay basic with reverb and sleazy bass, irking them to dip into the lands of crunk (“Get Right”) and spin with a retro touch over handclaps and a sultry voice (“Boomin'”). Even with guests sprinkled throughout the disc, Reed and Ingersoll never feel uncomfortable; neither do Travis Barker, The Neptunes or Asher Roth as each addition only add a kick to a track’s rhythm. Not many can contemporize their style without harming their trademark, but as they admit on the album’s opener – a phrase detailing their work since 2007 –  “The speakers gon’ love it,”.

Download: “Boomin'”, “Roll Call”, “Summer Jam”


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