Rats on Rafts: Excerpts From Chapter 3 (Fire/digital outlets)

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Rats on Rafts: Excerpts From Chapter 3 (Fire/digital outlets)
This Dutch band has only made one previous appearance at Elsewhere, back in '16 when were somewhat underwhelmed by a pairing with their noisy neighbours De Kift for a kind of supergroup which was big on thrash with horns.

Here on their own however for their third album (subtitled The Mind Runs a Net of Rabbit Paths), the four-piece deliver something which seems like a concept album although the threads of any narrative are perhaps hard to discern.

But on a purely musical level this is enjoyably diverse with odd elements from Japanese folk sounds alongside taut psyche-pop and a sure sense of prog ambition (Spoken word! Street noise!! The song The Rise and The Fall of The Plague!!!) binding it together.

The jerky bleeping pop-punk of Tokyo Music Experience has a neatly claustrophobic quality with a relentlessly catchy chant/beat; there's the declamatory Fragments; the two-minute FF thrash of The Disappearance of Dr Duplicate; the sub-Jefferson Airplane-meets-Cantonese rock on Where is My Dream?; the rather odd Pt One, The Long Drought and wall of thrash noise dynamic of the pretty terrific six minute-plus Pt Two, Crossing the Desert . . .

These are all interesting, although as we always note, “interesting” is a word which suspends judgement.

Rats on Rafts probably remain an acquired taste . . . and try as we might, Crossing the Desert aside, Elsewhere has yet to acquire it.

And although this is in English, we have no idea what it is about.

The Epilogue; Big Poisonous Shadows suggests another installment in whatever story is being told here . . . 

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You can hear this album on Spotify here, and it comes on vinyl with an origami sleeve through Fire Records in the UK here


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