sat 30/09/2023

Album: Ratboys - The Window | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Ratboys - The Window

Album: Ratboys - The Window

Chicago indie rock veterans take a trip back to the early 90s US alt-rock scene

'A grunge-pop-athon that wears its influences heavily'

Ratboys have been around since 2010, knocking out their guitar-powered indie fare over three albums in their home city of Chicago. However, with album number four, they have decided to branch out and pay homage to the US alt-rock scene of the early 90s with a grunge-pop-athon that wears its influences heavily.

The ghosts of Veruca Salt, the Breeders, the Stooges and Neil Young and Crazy Horse all stalk the grooves of The Window. There’s even an occasional sniff of 4 Non-Blondes’ pop sensibilities on the more commercial tunes, like “It’s Alive!”. In fact, this album is an indication of how strongly the music of a group of relative outsiders with a love of Black Sabbath and hard-core punk has still got a firm (if somewhat watered down) grip on certain parts of US culture a good 30 years after the event. That said, you won’t hear any echoes of “War Pigs” on The Window.

“Making Noise for the Ones You Love” is loud and speedy punk rock with flashes of feedback that are accompanied by Julia Steiner’s alternately bored and sulky vocals. “Crossed That Line” is lively but melodic garage rock, while “Empty” has more than a sniff of a Breeders’ groove about it. “Black Earth, WI”, however, goes total all-in fan-worship and sounds like a full-blooded tribute to Neil Young and Crazy Horse. For over eight minutes, Ratboys lay down some prime proto-grunge country rock with crashing chords and totally over the top extended guitar soloing that grabs the listener by the soul and squeezes slightly.

Like with many of the original grunge bands, most of songs on The Window don’t actually seem to be about anything especially but this is an album that is carried along by a good deal of verve and a strangely naive exuberance.

This is an album that is carried along by a good deal of verve and a strangely naive exuberance

rating

Editor Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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