The Cool Kids

When Fish Ride Bicycles

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    8
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Taking their name to heart, the Cool Kids took a three-year stroll from their beloved 2008 EP The Bake Sale to this 2011 debut album. "Aloof", "meandering", and "unwilling to 'seize the moment'” prove to be positive elements for this alt or underground hip-hop crew, both in their career and on album, as this sneaky yet rewarding, De La Soul-esque experience displays. Still, it’s a new “Daisy Age” as When Fish Ride Bicycles shakes off some of the group’s love of retro and enters the slick, post-Neptunes, post-N.E.R.D. world where anything goes, and it often goes pop. Pop-punker Travis Barker is behind the boards for “Sour Apples," offering a production where new wave meets Odd Future as the Kids spit the skeptical hook “I met a couple honeys in my line of work/Some sour apples, some sweet as desert.” Save a couple choice cuts from the Neptunes themselves, Kids member Chuck Inglish handles the rest of the vivid production, which is flashy and backpacker all at once, and if Bun B and Ghostface don’t seem at home in these surroundings, it’s the Kids’ thug wit and prime punch lines (“I’m Park Place, you’re Marvin Gardens”) that welcome them as friends. The kinetic, mini-funk monster “Swimsuits” with Mayer Hawthorne puts it over the top, making the long wait forgivable and the album highly recommendable.

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