I’ll throw my hands up and admit to you now that I’m a sucker for bands where not only can you barely tell what their influences are, but you can’t even tell whether they’re taking the piss out of them or not. On the outside, Kid Carpet seems like a drunken in-joke that spiralled out of hand – a one-man band operating mostly toy instruments and battery-operated pre-school learning aids – but the reason it makes ‘Ideas and Oh Dears’ work is the level of sincerity the Kid throws into the mix. That’s right, he sounds like he means it.
Granted, tongues are so firmly in cheeks here that he’d not be able to eat any lollipops you handed him, as the reinterpretations of Chesney Hawkes and ABC suggest (“I wanna shoot a fuckin’ arrow at your arse”, apparently), and what excuses ‘Psycho’s Theme’ from simply being the sound of a harmonica being exhaled through. But it’s the vocals that elevate this album from being a few shits and giggles to something resembling emotion. There’s anger in ‘Shiny Shiny New’ (“The shiny shiny new / Gets quickly very old…This coffee’s fucking cold”), backed by the wailing solo you get from pressing a button on a Fischer Price guitar. There’s fawning admiration in ‘Your Love’ and ‘It’s A Bit Windy Love’, the former using sickly-sweet statements from Furby and the latter declaring “there ain’t any sun / But I swear you’re the one”. It’s ‘novel’ in the best sense of the word, in that no-one’s done it like this before.
As its title suggests, the LP is a collection of both fully-formed songs and aural scribbles, which is useful in that half-baked thoughts aren’t fleshed out needlessly and the more danceable ‘play-house’ freak-outs don’t overstay their welcome. It’s doubtful, therefore, that a more polished and song-based Carpet would work, which is why an album this recklessly thrown together should be cherished. ‘Ideas and Oh Dears’ should keep Kid Carpet as a most prominent member of the “shit-hop” scene – that’s shit meaning good, obviously, or rather shit meaning he’s spat about buses and carrier bags over beats from My First Drum Machine and past it off as contemporary rap fusion. Which is brilliant, frankly.
He may be telling us that pop music is with us from birth, he may be poking fun at hip-hop music or dance culture or you, the listener. But one thing he has done is put a grin on my face, which is all you need ask for. Come on kids, let’s get naïve.
8Thomas Blatchford's Score