For over a decade, Anty Horgan has been known to most as the energetic frontman of Melbourne partystarters The Bennies. Armed with high-energy, upbeat tunes, lyrics that speak of the benefits of partying (and, the oft-associated partaking of a few substances), and a highly-infectious attitude, the group have long been favourites of the local stage.
However, 2020 brought with it news that The Bennies would be putting the group on ice for a brief period of time, though their planned 4/20 concert was cancelled, leading to something of an abrupt (temporary) end to the group. With more time on his hands though, the group’s frontman set to work on more material from his part-time solo project. Having shared a handful of tracks over the years, it was just last month that Anty! announced the forthcoming release of his debut studio solo album, Rudeboy.
While fans had received an idea of what to expect by way of his previously-released singles, the new cut “(One Step Beyond) Two Back” provided an ever greater insight – with Anty!’s love of dub and reggae in full force, as he spouted ever-relatable lyrics of persevering despite an unending cloud of unhappiness.
Primarily a passion project of the genres that have defined his life and career (albeit, one that lacks the more direct punk-rock approach most fans would expect), Rudeboy succeeds where others of this kind fail in that it’s an adventurous and personal record, but one that isn’t self-indulgent, poorly-planned, or relies solely on a singular ‘sound’ throughout its entirety.
Rather, it feels like the sort of record that he’s waited his whole life to make. Whether it’s the upbeat opener “Dancehall Massacre”, the sample-heavy “Noxious Weed”, or even the late-night/early-morning anthem “The Disco in The Comedown”, it’s clear that Anty! and his team know their way around a good song, and know how to curate the sort of vibe that needs to accompany it.
Ultimately, Rude Boy is a record which seeks to serve as an uplifting experience in the lives of all its listeners, whilst remaining as genuine as possible as it ventures into a litany of varying genres and styles. It could have so easily gone wrong, as some solo records do, but in the end, it feels so, so right, and easily proves that Anty! can do anything he sets his mind to.
Anty’s Rudeboy is out now via Disdain Records, with physical versions available now.