Xenia Rubinos is a chameleon of groove. From bass-driven, post-punk loops to more soulful hip-hop influenced moments, Black Terry Cat carries Rubinos vocals to a wide variety of different places. On “Just Like I,” Rubinos juxtaposes care-free “ooo’s” with punching distortion and angry vocal delivery resulting in a quick punching tune.
Beginning with a TuneYards-esque groove, “Just Like I” takes a quick turn for the punk at each chorus where distorted guitar becomes the main driving force. The Rhythm serves as the perfect compliment to the punchy vocal approach with pressing bass and drums amassing a wall of sound leading into the final hit.
Lyrically, Rubinos remains relatively esoteric, obsessively repeating phrases, touching upon the subject of race and gentrification. Lines like “Living in the places you built for me” and “I buy just what you sell me” suggest submission to the systematic social constructs that surround Rubinos as a person of color. When the chorus reaches, Rubinos breaks free with the lyric “Just like I love, I kill, I kill you.” “Just Like I” certainly isn’t Rubinos’s most direct way of addressing some of the issues that follow her in life, but her short bursts of thematic lyricism fit into the overall message of the record.
Rubinos’ songwriting finds a brilliant balance between youthful creativity and mature execution, making Black Terry Cat an interesting and fun overall experience. In three minutes, “Just Like I” finds fulfilling shifts in tone, ending in a powerful climax making for a stand-out track.