Rats As Big As Dogs – ‘Attract’

The last RABAD release ‘Stupid Suits You’ traded on an everything-louder-than-everything-else approach and songs that wasted no time in reaching critical mass. On ‘Attract’ they have given room in the mix to some more even-tempered post-punk and new wave influences without compromising the impact.


Book-ending the record, ‘Court of Public Opinion’ and ‘Gin Pissers’ employ the punk-theatre stylings of Crass, whilst second track features precision drills and stop-starts that wouldn’t be out of place on a Dead Kennedy’s record. On 'Deerskin Girl Son', the boy-girl vocals remind of recent Nightingales output whilst 'Strain' is a materialism-hating pop song with some fine lead guitar work and a brooding chorus refrain of "you can't create/when you strain" that is pure Pixies.

The brevity and restraint of the songs in this set show that reduction is perhaps the most important part of production, these tracks will sound impressive in the live setting too for all of their refinement. But what’s most interesting is to hear a collection of songs work as a sequence which is quite rare nowadays - ‘Court of Public Opinion’ opens the door for the listener in the same way as ‘Alone Again Or’ does for Love’s ‘Forever Changes’ album. Without it, it may feel like wandering into the middle of a conversation. The last track likewise provides a definitive full-stop.

This is a very promising EP which should bring them to a wider audience. I wonder how the band will grapple with a full-length album - if they employ the same discipline as they do here it will yield great results.