Ride – Joe Unknown

Perhaps the first great alternative record I discovered in 2022. Track and artist slipped by true to the monicker without becoming known in the slightest to me in late October 2021. I heard it once on the radio in January and thought “Yep, I’m filing that alongside John Biz and Joe Pug I don’t necessarily mean musically either. Just in that ‘one play and it’s scratched in’ criteria that makes Drugs Tonight and Nation Of Heat forever A Grade choices for SFTD mixtapes and playlists.

“I spend away days getting twisted, futuristic fast frame pictures on my playstation 4, shooting kids online passes time but my girlfriend hates it”

Joe Unknown is a bit like The Streets with guitars and a bit angry Jamie T discovers Crass. I’m almost entirely positive he’d take both of those comparisons as huge insults. Then again from the sound of Ride I think he’d take most things badly if you got him on the wrong side of sloppy or pre his recreationals. It’s the performance and the delivery that makes this lo-fi urgent PuNkAbOuT the entertaining jam it is.

I like to participate in life’s little edge, from time to time I take a little ride over the edge, RriiidDeEe”

Imagine S*M*A*S*H* rewriting Parklife or (hang on, this old soundsalike machine needs some dusting off) or the singer in an Ian Dury covers band trying out Eat Y’erself Fitter on 45 not 33. Too 20th Century? OK Try this. One of Slaves on the therapists couch complaining about living downstairs to Slowthai. *ZzZz!* Sleaford Mods doing The Damned at the local pubs jam night. *RzZzt!* She’s getting up to speed now…

“I think a lot about who I think I should be Then get very fucking angry at who I′m not Life’s confusing!”

That bendy baseline intro rises through the storm drain while Joe diarizes* about drinking and overthinking. The wibbly wobbly cheap BBC special effects on the chorus add an element of Dr. Who (or in the least the BBC Radiophonic Workshop) meets The Stranglers before he covered the same territory as the first verse and exposes the lies, the inconsistencies and contradictions in his own bullshit. It’s clever. Knowing and ironic as well as totally honest about it’s own shortcomings

“Let us not cry over spilt milk, If you spill the whiskey, it will get violent, for all is well felt over a glass of black label I don′t do red”

*It’s a word!


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