“Out Getting Ribs” takes its title from a 1982 pencil-on-paper piece from Jean Michel Basquiat. Like the late artist, Zoo Kid makes deceptively simple, deeply personal/political art that finds joy– perhaps its only joy– in accident and chaos. On this song, Zoo Kid, who looks like Rick Astley with Elly Jackson of La Roux’s haircut, and is only 16 years old, subverts the polite, studied expectations of your average singer-songwriter type. The London teen (real name Archy Marshall) instead gives us grubby, earthy language (“hate… runs through my blood”) and employs a keen understanding of verité sounds’ emotional punch (a chunk of noise, a gnarled cough, a nearly off-mic “I’m sorry”). Comfort with letting the seams show makes “Out Getting Ribs” oddly intimate and irrevocably bleak.
— Brandon Soderberg