Ratboys “Printer’s Devil”
Care needs to be taken not to mistake Ratboys with the UK’s own Ratboy (who is actually an excellent act producing songs with a Jamie T vibe). Instead Ratboys are a former acoustic duo who have now evolved in to a fully rocking four piece.
There’s no denying that opening track “Alien With A Sleep Mask On” will have you floating back to the sound of early nineties indie rock. There’s a perfect blend of crunching guitars and pop, on tracks like “Look To” and “Listening” which will surely appeal to us ‘oldies’ who fondly recall the likes of Husker Du, Blake Babies etc. Thankfully for us, and Ratboys, this is a sound which is actually getting a lot of attention again now.
Things get even better with the sunny, perfect pop, sound of “My Hands Grow” and the irresistibly catchy sound of “Anj”. That’s not to say the band aren’t also capable of showing a touch of melancholy, as shown by “I Go Out At Night” and “Clever Hans”. But even then, it’s punctuated with some grungy guitar sound.
A particular highlight is “Victorian Slum House” which rivals The Lemonheads for a drifter pop sound perfect for summer slouching. The album is then rounded off with the swirling and enticing pop of “Printer’s Devil”.
Whilst it may recall days gone by, this is a timely reminder how great alternative rock used to be. Ratboys manage to perfectly balance the bitter/sweet song approach of the early nineties. Importantly, it doesn’t sound dated and hopefully it will just lead a whole new generation of music fans appreciating that pop and guitars really are meant for each other.