Saturday Reject: Pinguini Tattici Nucleari – Ringo Starr

“I did not expect to like that so much.”

Tim: Tactical Nuclear Penguin was the name of a beer made by BrewDog, that in 2009 briefly held the record for the world’s strongest beer. In 2010, this Italian band got together and thought ‘yep, that sounds like a good name for a band’, and now ten years later here they are, coming third in Sanremo 2020.

Tom: With a song named after a Beatle. They’re strong on the pop culture references, then?

Tim: Oh, we’re just getting started. Here’s the music video; unembeddable performance is here.

Tom: I did not expect to like that so much. And full marks to RAI for providing an orchestra to play along with them.

Tim: Nice, isn’t it? You’ll be pleased (and probably not surprised) to know that they have never really taken themselves too seriously; the lyrics here have references to The Lion King, Toto’s Africa, Batman & Robin and the Italian version of The Chase. As for the message, the singer’s basically going on about how crap he is compared to everyone else; main chorus line translates to “in a world of John and Pauls, I am Ringo Starr”, which seems a bit harsh, though now I think about it I’m not sure who comes off worst.

Tom: I mean, only one of those have asked people to stop sending them fan mail.

Tim: Peace and love, Tom, peace and love, all around really as this is a fairly enjoyable track.

Tom: There are several elements here I recognise: there’s the “whoa-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh” millennial whoop straight out of Good Time, and I swear I know that opening guitar riff from somewhere, too. That single line from the chorus is repeated far too much, but I’ve got to admit it is a good line.

Tim: My biggest fault with it is that it gets a bit closer to shouting than singing on occasion, but that’s not entirely a bad thing. All in all, a worthy third place.

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