This ‘Sewer Rats’ article was written by Josh Hummerston, a GIGsoup contributor with photos from Keira Cullinane
Sewer Rats … the name itself invokes images of dirtiness, sleaziness and debauchery. Three adjectives that perfectly describe the unrelenting, quick paced and groove laden sound that greets the listener in EP opener ‘Skint’. The sound is a mixture ofaggressive stoner rock and bluesy rock and roll, harking back to a sound that was originally pioneered by the likes of Kyuss and Fu Manchu. Kicking off with awe inspiring energy and vigour the track roars from start to finish maintaining the same fast paced velocity and angst throughout. Although there is an instantly noticeable and undeniable DIY sound to ‘Moneymaker’, Sewer Rats succeed in making it something that is definitively theirs and theirs alone.
‘Devil Blues’ unsurprisingly serves up a solid slab of groovy, heavily distorted blues. Again, fast paced rhythms and chunky distorted guitar provide the momentum that drives and carries the song for its duration. Gruff and primordial vocals accompany the steadfast instrumentation to provide a riveting spectacle of good old fashioned Rock and Roll.
Towards the middle of the EP however, the momentum comes to a surprising standstill. Although initially intriguing ‘Black Label Serotonin’ tails off in both energy and intensity, sounding more like an impromptu sound check than a fully-fledged song, and offering not much more than a seemingly improvised selection of high register guitar licks slung together over a rhythm track. The exploration into a more psychedelic and laid back style of musicality is something that shows promising potential but at this point of time only steals impetus from an otherwise solid start.
Quickly departing from the latter, Sewer Rats return to their staple sound and deliver another chunk of loud abrasive stoner infused rock. The last couple of songs ‘Moneymaker’ and ‘Far away’ quickly bring the EP back up to speed, offering the most solid and strongly composed pieces of music yet, implicating Sewer Rats as the potential future forerunners of the British underground rock scene.
Although the selection of songs are consistent in their standard, it seems that Sewer Rats have still not quite come to grips with the fullest of their potential. This being said though, the sound that they possess is one that exudes a sense of confidence and ability to play loud and sturdy rock songs that are both captivating and entertaining. ‘Moneymaker’ is an EP that doesn’t sound pretty and will leave your ears ringing for weeks, yet retains an irresistible charm. Such is the allure of Rock ‘n’ roll.