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  • Writer's pictureLeon Riccio

EP REVIEW: DUCKBOY, 'Tragic Love Songs to Study to [Vol. 5]'

Credit: Instagram/DUCKBOY (@suicideleopard)

The new pop-punk project from DUCKBOY aka Aristos Petrou - of hip-hop duo $uicideboy$ notoriety - sees the artist return to his punk roots, dropping a seven-track album that will shock newcomers but come as no surprise to seasoned fans.

The latest release is the first solo recording he has released in almost a decade, and while the content of the release clearly sounds miles apart from his hip-hop projects, all the frills surrounding the release still carry that quintessentially $uicideboy$ flavour - the lo-fi album artwork, the voicemail recording skits, the high-quality production, and the tongue-in-cheek song titles (“My Love Life Needs a Lobotomy,” “After Further Reasoning, I’m Going to Bed”).

While the ‘album’ - which amounts to a mere four songs once you strip back the skits - is not necessarily reinventing the wheel, it is certainly good at what it does. The tracks hark back to the incessant drums and off-kilter vocal hooks of the Rancid-y, NOFX-y 90’s era of punk, alongside an unmistakable whiff of My Chemical Romance in the guitar riffs, and delicious thrash elements to top it all off.

The punk genre is no novelty to Petrou - also known as Ruby Da Cherry, Oddy Nuff Da $now Leopard, George Washington’s AR-15, and a series of other alter-egos - however, having played for a series of hardcore bands before teaming up with his maternal cousin in 2014.

Lyrically, the tracks toy with themes of toxic relationships, the supernatural, death, and suicide, all the while dropping references to their home town of New Orleans, Grey Five Nine Records (itself a reference to New Orleans), and previously released songs, personas, and concepts. All of which is pretty much standard fare when it comes to viewing the artist’s backlog.

This ties into the greater debate surrounding the controversial duo’s discography - were you to take a more favourable perspective of Petrou's output, his ability to re-hash previously-used lyrical imagery and motifs demonstrate a highly cerebral and tightly-woven body of work, relating to past themes while still keeping the delivery fresh and interpretations open.

Skeptics however may consider this to be exemplary of an artist recycling old ideas, purely because he’s run out of new ones - both interpretations have their merits.

All that being said, the release thankfully puts Petrou's latest work closer to the esteemed realms of Yung Lean and Död Mark - a fellow rap artist with his respective punk side-project - and further from that of Machine Gun Kelly - who remains firmly at the other end of the spectrum.

To listen to the full release, click here.

This article was written for and published by Noizze UK.

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