After meeting 15 years ago, London’s duo Rebel ACA & French Monkey Wrench managed to create new music after managing and producing an unnamed funk reggae band. The pair blends together Brit Pop style with a Hip Hop swagger as a seemingly revival of the genre from the early 2000s. Acts like The Streets, Gorillaz, and Handsome Boy Modeling School effortlessly combined those different sounds into something exciting, while Rebel ACA & French Monkey Wrench are doing it today for a new generation.
“John Wayne” is the newest single from the duo’s debut album Sunday’s Cool and it tackles our dependence of everyday technology on smartphones and laptops, while questioning notions of masculinity in a modern era. The single is deeply layered lyrically, as well as musically, as it takes a listener on a journey of technology and social media with speedy and concise wordplay and rhymes.
While the single has something on its mind, I can’t help but reminded of the Gorillaz’s song “Clint Eastwood.” Both songs share the same bouncy tones and sounds with a memorable and catchy hook in their respective choruses. Even the titles share the same type of masculinity in pop culture and movies in the 20th century. Rebel ACA & French Monkey Wrench clearly have their influences on their sleeves.
The music video is a visual explosion of the digital journey through modern technology that feels like a kaleidoscope of words and a collage of images and pop art. The irony of “John Wayne” is that it seems to be an indictment of social media and how it really hinders real human interaction, when the song and music video were created, produced, released, and viewed through the very same methods the song is railing against.
I mean, I watched the music video on YouTube and I listened to the single on Soundcloud from the comfort of my own apartment on my iPhone X. Hell, I’m writing this article on Google Docs on my Macbook.
“John Wayne” is the follow up single to “African James Bond” from Rebel ACA & French Monkey Wrench debut album Sunday Cool, which drops on March 29. Both singles are now available on Soundcloud. For more info, check out the duo’s Facebook page here.