1-2-3 GOOD GOD!
The cardboard prince returns! This time he’s in the company of The Card Kidz, a mysterious outfit whose lumpy garage-rock boogie suggests they’ve been mainlining a cocktail of Crazy Horse, Primus and James Chance and The Contortions for a good few years. Indeed, at times the group seems to be channelling the latter fairly directly (although no doubt unintentionally ) – most notably on ‘Corrugate Yourself’, whose grotty shuffle could well be a determinedly lo-fi take on Chance’s ‘I Can’t Stand Myself’, vocal warbles an’ all.
‘Nothing Can Stop The Card Kidz’ is good, entertaining stuff anyway, with a synergistic chug that ups the game of everyone involved. Ridley-Shackleton’s screeches and yodels add an adrenaline-filled charge to the band’s grind, while the presence of other humans in the cardboard universe balances some of the uneasy introversion of the prince’s solo work, leaving him free to shimmy like a funky imp let loose at CBGBs.
On ‘Who You Gotta Call (The Card Kidz)’, Ridley-Shackleton’s bizzaro tale of visiting a doctor (surely a dentist?) because his teeth are falling out is given typically full-throated treatment – “Milk teeth, OWW!” – while also benefiting from an aside about the monetary value of said gnashers. A warped guitar riff referencing Lenny Kravitz’s ‘Are You Gonna Go My Way’ is the molar-eroding icing on the cake.
Occasional interactions with what is presumably an audience suggest ‘Nothing Can Stop The Card Kidz’ is a recording of a live show (another clue is the retrospective announcements in each piece – “Song 3 is over!” – and so on), although details of where and when this stuff was laid down are totally absent.
The mystery deepens with ‘Millennium Bug’, in which a snatch of Robbie Williams’ liverish ode sits side-by-side with oddball reflections on the Y2K issue that had IT departments around the world losing sleep in the latter half of 1999. Is this actually an archival release, laying undiscovered in the cardboard vaults until now? Or just a weird anachronism, adding to the timeless aura that surrounds our beloved wood-pulp royalty? Only he knows. GOOD GOD!