As you become older, you are encouraged/forced by society to become independent. As you become independent, you are encouraged/forced to accumulate responsibilities to generate the ka-ching that will allow you to maintain that independence. Sometimes the responsibilities stack up, leaving little time for, well, living. And if you happen to be the Rivercrest Yacht Club, adulthood also leaves scant hours for dropping dope-ass rhymes over phat beats.
The Fort Worth hip-hop quintet, MC Generic said, didn’t mean to take a three-year hiatus starting in 2010, but adulthood got in the way. “It just kind of happened,” he said.
Back then, Generic (full disclosure: he’s also known as Weekly staff writer Eric Griffey) and MC DJ DDS were both in the middle of career changes, and MC Heffminster de la Rocha was finishing law school while studying for the bar exam. Drummer the Rear Admiral, a.k.a. Lucas White (Gunga Galunga, James Hinkle), was playing in a couple of other bands –– ones, Generic admitted, that were taking music a bit more seriously than the RYC was at the time –– and bassist Lee Zur Ly, a.k.a. Lee Allen (Impulse of Will), was, as usual, wearing multiple hats (teaching music, managing bars and restaurants). “Then we just got out of the habit of playing and practicing,” Generic said.
The RYC, he continued, would occasionally get together and lay down some tracks, at Heff’s home studio in Grand Prairie. But without any deadline, without any pressure to release something, the band became a we’ll-do-it-tomorrow kind of thing. “I don’t think any of us thought [the hiatus] would last that long,” he said.
Remembering how much they loved the music is the main reason the Yacht Clubbers “drew a line in the sand,” Generic said, and finished the album they had been working on seemingly forever.
After about a year of grinding, the Yacht Clubbers wrapped up the follow-up to their 2008 eponymous debut album. Recorded at Heff’s studio with some drumwork at Eagle Audio Recording, Aqua Naughty is just as cerebral and fanboy-ish as the first CD but is way more about the party and waaay funkier. Generic attributes the subtle yet meaningful shift in sonics to the relatively recent additions of Allen and White. “I think their playing with the band has changed everything,” he said. “This second album is just more representative of our live sound. We also wanted to make this album less comedic and more just unabashedly fun and catchy.”
And fun and catchy it is. In the raucous “Kung Fudio,” Heff manages to insert 16 Steven Seagal references into only eight lines. (A sample: “You’re On Deadly Ground, and your Machete is Out of Reach / I’m The Glimmer Man, I’m the Shadow Man / Rock thunder in a box, drink lightning from a can / I’m Above the Law when I hit them Kill Switches.” Thunderbox is the name of Seagal’s blues band, and Lightning Bolt is his energy drink, made with Tibetan goji berries.)
In keeping with the founding spirit of the RYC, witty pop-culture references, nautical themes, and good ol’ fashioned raunchiness abound, and the arrangements and deliveries are decidedly old-school (lots of group choruses and calls and responses). On the subdued but lyrically scintillating “International Waters,” Heff and DDS’ response to Generic’s call of “Chasin’ whales, chasin’ tail, clinkin’ glasses, shakin’ asses” is “In international waters! With international daughters!” (The rest goes: “String bikinis, gin martinis, droppin’ anchor, think I’ll spank her / In international waters! With international daughters!”)
The RYC has performed a few of the tracks in concert before, including the outrageously groovy, heavy, and rowdy “Hustle ’n’ Grind” and “The Tuck,” a.k.a. “The Tranny Tuck,” an uproarious but bouncy, dub-influenced number. “I’m the Clark Kent of the disco scene,” Generic raps rapid-fire over ping-ponging synth notes and splashy beats. “I’m a mild-mannered man of the same routine / But when the sun sets I’m a dance machine / Every day’s Halloween, and I’m the queen.”
Though it will be officially released at a late-December show at Lola’s Saloon, Aqua Naughty will be up on iTunes and other digital distribution outlets within a couple of weeks. “I love it,” Generic said. “I think it’s certainly a departure from the last one. It’s less schticky and more party, which is what we set out to do.”
The Rivercrest Yacht Club’s big comeback show is Saturday at Lola’s with alt-Americana Austin rockers Oh Whitney and Droidekka, a local nerdcore outfit specializing in video game songs. Why does the Yacht Club play mostly with indie rockers instead of, y’know, other rappers? “That’s who we know,” Generic said. “We just play with friends, typically.”
The goal now is to keep playing, at least every two or three months, he said. “I doubt we’ll play anywhere too exotic or farther afield than Dallas, but we’re open to anything. We’re mostly playing again because we enjoy it.”
Rivercrest Yacht Club
Sat w/Oh Whitney, Droidekka at Lola’s Saloon, 2736 W 6th St, FW. $10-14. 817-877-0666.