|Staci T. Rat - 'Year Of The Rat' (Trashpit Records)|
|Written by Gaz E|
|Tuesday, 22 September 2009 14:07|
I have a lot of time for Staci T. Rat. His past rock 'n' roll endeavours have never failed to impress for all the right reasons; Red Light Rippers pretty much perfected that trashy, punky sound that all the cool kids know and love, while his more recent outfit Chop Suicide actually took that sound up a notch or two, and added more than a gobfull of spunky attitude. But now Staci has decided to go it alone with his debut solo release for TrashPit Records, 'Year Of The Rat'.
The first thing that smacks you in the kisser when you sling this disc into the stereo is the change of direction. Sure, Staci is still a lowslung sleazy six string denizen of Trash City, but he has crawled out of the gutter and is at least now on the kerb. This four track EP showcases a more mature, old school vibe - classic rock rather than schlock.
Opener 'Seven Years' has a vintage barroom quality to it, with a smoke-stained piano haunting the proceedings. Rat's vocals are delivered in an Ace Frehley style drawl and give way to a manic harmonica burst courtesy of legendary UK Subs frontman Charlie Harper. 'Dead End Town' features Danyell from Chop Suicide and the feisty femme fatale turns in an inspiring vocal; raspy, dirty, sexy and very cool. The song rocks, rolls and throbs in all the right places. I once described Danyell as being someone who the girls are gonna wanna be and the boys are gonna wanna be with - that hasn't changed. In fact, probably more so after yet another great song.
If the shift in direction has caught you off guard with the first two songs, prepare to be knocked on your bony ass by third track 'Another Time'. This acoustic number references timeless Eighties heart breakers and thought provokers, yet leaves out the cheese factor. Highly infectious, with an honest and humungous hook, this is probably the finest song to ever come out of the Rat repertoire. Last track 'We All Laugh At You' features a cool vocal from Mike Farrell of The Pariahs and rides along on a fat bass line before kicking out the jams and punching you in the gut with an anthemic chorus, then seducing your girlfriend with a burst of sexy saxophone.
Easily Staci T. Rat's finest collection of material - and best produced too - 'Year Of The Rat' adds another dimension to the Canadian's already cool back catalogue. I knew the EP would be good, but I didn't expect it to sound as it does - great stuff. Expect Staci to tour the ass off this release; support him, support independent music and, of course, get your rocks off while doing it.