Ready for something to knock you out in matters of seconds? Alright then, well you need to listen to the new record by New Haven’s The Ratz. The songs aren’t meant for you to slow dance, instead they are made for you to smash your body into someone else, bounce off a wall and leave you battered and bruised. Perfect, right? Of course. Their new record consists of 8 songs that were made to blow the roof off and melt your brain.
The Ratz are the kind of band that take you back to when Black Flag and Fugazi were ruling the world and weren’t afraid to speak out and speak loudly. The gang mentality that The Ratz have makes you want to be part of what they are giving you. They are insanely talented, and prior to listening to their new record I went back and listened to some of their older stuff, and my god this band know how to play. After The Blackout (seems apt right now) is their new record, and it is full of hyperactive Punk songs that don’t even come close to hitting the 2 minute mark, and although I can be a sucker for songs that hit over 5 minutes, what The Ratz do in so little time is just so vital. You could easily imagine this band ripping apart venues like CBGB years ago. They’ve got that gnarly and raw Punk sound that just makes you want to lose your mind. Destroy You just gets to the 2 minute mark, and it’s one of the best songs that they have ever done. I love how they are unapologetically raw with their sound and are just so brutal. Ines is a fucking incredible guitarist, and she makes you wish you were as cool as her. The way she plays is just *chef’s kiss! *
You cannot get enough of this band; I just love them. The artwork for the record is so cool, and it really gives off the feeling you get when you listen to the record; you feel a little bit dirty but in the best way possible. It’s a brutal record, and it’s got this rambunctiousness to it that you simply cannot get enough off. Put it in a drip and hook it right into my veins!
After The Blackout is the record you play to hype yourself up. It gives you that boost, that spring in your step so you feel alright in going outside and facing up to whatever you need to. As far as Hardcore records go, this is some top level shit. I’m not a pro at Hardcore Punk, but I know what I like, and I know what I’m not a fan of, and it’s fair to say that The Ratz are definitely a band to adore and play loud. I love what they do, and I just love their whole style. Each of them brings something unique to the band, and it is so obvious on this record. Like I said, I went back and listened to earlier stuff to get mor familiar with their sound, and what they’ve done on After The Black Out is firmly let us know what they are about and they have truly shown us what they are made of.
The Ratz are the kind of band that you psyched up to see on a weekend after you’ve had a tough week. I’m one of the lucky ones where I love my job and I love the people I work with, but there are people who work and hate their surroundings, and when the weekend hits then BAM they can unleash it all. As someone who suffers with depression and anxiety (who doesn’t! But this isn’t from a Buzzfeed quiz, I actually went to a doctor) sometimes a lot gets pent up, and my release comes from music. Finding music, listening to it and writing about it. I am so fucking grateful when a band reaches out to me and asks me to write about them because it keeps me focused on other things. I think that’s part of the reason as to why I’ve never been paid to do this, and never want to. If someone in a band ever says to their friend, “Hey, send your music to Olivia, she’ll probably write about you because she loves music!” then that’s fine by me, that’s all I want. I’m happy with that and having bands like The Ratz reach out is just the best! I love this record, and I love how it’s got that raw sound that you find in bands like Flesh Rag (Canadian Punk band that we all know I’m in love with!) After The Blackout deserves to be played insanely loud and as often as you can. Take it like a vitamin to keep you nice and healthy.
The atmosphere that The Ratz have created on this record is one to completely wrap yourself up in. You can really picture yourself at their show with a bunch of people around you who equally love this band, your arms around each other shouting the words back. It’s a real Punk mentality with a sense of unity (see bands like my beloved IDLES for the same feeling) and this sense of unity is what Punk is about. No one gets left behind. The loudness on the record may intimidate some, but please just play the record. Soak up just how amazing they are as musicians, and you will truly hear one of the best Punk bands around. In fact, let’s leave genres out of this and soak up how great they are as a band.
If you’re looking for a wild record to lose your shit to or if you’re looking for something new to just give you a kick- then The Ratz are for you. Immerse yourself in the record and play songs like These Streets and I Don’t as loud as you want. These 8 songs will enhance your life and make you and your record collection look that much cooler.