Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Single Review: Rat Columns-S/T 7"

I'm going to stop mentioning whether bands are from Australia. It's just too much of an early give away of how great the music is. Everything seems to be pure gold from that continent, and when it may seem like the bands might start to deform all into the same sound, something comes along removes any sense of encroaching overwrote similarity. Case in point with Rat Columns.

Rat Columns is the solo work of David West. If that name sound unfamiliar, it's to be expected due to West being a member of the equally under appreciated Rank/Xerox. That post-punk connection sort of sets the stage for what comes out these grooves. From the simple yet stark cover art, the solitude and loneliness of the music is instantly presented. Which is helped by the single itself, which manages to smoothly showcase the various forms that West's music takes.

It opens with the simple "I Wonder", as a few sparse drum beats over equally sparse guitar lines. I've heard a few comparisons to The Clean's take on post-punk as a good jump off point for what's happening in Rat Column's ;music and parts of that can be picked up on and really bond well with the music. More so though, it sounds like a darker, yet sonically reduced Fresh and Onlys. case in point when the next two songs come on. "Keep Waiting" is a nice 90 degree turn, a noisy synth tune with vocals so low you have to strain your ears to pick them up. It's quite lovely, evoking little touches of New Order. Then the complete 180 occurs with "Glass Coffin", clearly bringing to mind the menace of Blue Water White Death's "Song for the Greater Jihad", a single deformed instrument becoming more unhinged with the vocals as the song progresses. Then the return an ironic turn back to the original form with "Darkness", a high point of ringing guitar notes coming together to one of the catchiest moments on the single. The entire 7" is very effortless, simple and not something I was expecting in my inbox. Another superbe night time single.

Stream: Rat Columns-I Wonder

Rat Columns on Myspace
Buy the 7" here, from Smartguy Records

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