November 6, 2012 VIDEO ⁄  RATKING: BUBONIC ‘COMIC’


Why is it that all the best band names are taken… from the totally gross animal world? Never mind Pukesnake, if Harlem rap consortium Ratking’s name had you picturing some cool dude rodent wearing a Jughead crown at a rakish angle and toasting good health to his chill rat kingdom with a pimp goblet of Ratzzurp, think again.

Think about this, specifically. A ‘rat king’ is a rare phenomenon (and very bad vibe) that happens when a bunch of rats become intertwined at the tails, and are joined with blood, dirt and crud to become a living, breathing rat rosti. Well, we found one – and it’s small, but potentially dangerous. Oh please, Lord – let Ratking’s legacy be a plague of helium-flowed rap-kings who like the Germs, Suicide and Animal Collective, joined at the tail by cerebral East Coast gnarliness and bonded by the excrement of many spirulina smoothies – and not a creepy bubonic death-tangle? Ok, all clear. The most major threat in this video is the nifty Minor Threat homage (“At least I’m fucking trying / what the fuck have you done?”) after the spoken word intro. Taken from their much-hyped debut ‘Wiki93’ EP (out now on Hot Charity / XL) ‘Comic’ is the quartet’s latest snarling jungle-juiced offering and while it’s not cuddly, it’s as near to good, clean fun as the Harlem outfit is gonna get.

PS. London, you can catch Ratking – and maybe, cooties – at Birthdays, Dalston TONIGHT for free.

By Lucy Stehlik