Rat-Filth is a brilliant two-piece free-jazz-post-punk mess. It’s awesome music for its complexity and ambitious boundary pushing energy. It’s jarring, angular, chaotic and yet somehow still manages to make sense!
The guitar/organ/vocals are recorded by Tim (Timothy and the Wilderness) way down south at his home in Tasmania. He then sends the tracks to the ridiculously talented Noah (Great Earthquake) back in Melbourne who then drums over the top. They work by correspondence bridging the rather large expanse of water between them and the result is this 5 track EP/collection titled ‘Today Feeling’.
It’s largely instrumental stuff, the music is at times insanely busy and intense as the guitars jangle and jolt, strings bend and the gain breaks up resulting in an oddly Fugazi feeling guitar sound and the drums blast and roll away. The recordings are all of a modern lo-fi standard, this isn’t a studio treated recording and by the sound of it..likely all recorded live. I have recollections of listening to The Mars Volta, Off Minor, Mice Parade and other progressive/arty bands when I listen to this. It’s pretty fun to follow along as in some parts the songs sound like they’re about to completely fall apart into an utter train wreck and then suddenly it all resolves, tightens up and it’s back on track. Bloody remarkable…or pure fluke. Can’t decide!
Love it though!
It’s worth noting that these two guys have done nearly half a dozen other incarnations/bands together over the years and so if you ever heard: Lions Light, Great Earthquake, Timothy and the Wilderness, Light Lions, Flag and Forget… Then this more or less fits right in with the collection!
This is the swan song from Sierra, a 5 piece group hailing from Mt Gambier (NSW) of all places! They’ve been an interesting group who many labelled as ‘one to watch’ for some time as they shifted gears from early punk/hardcore roots into a more mature modern post-hardcore/emo style we’re familiar with. Unfortunately the band recently announced that they’ll be hanging up the name and moving on to other things..but not before letting their last offering loose upon us. A five song release that shows off the bands many facets and range with excellent production values, great performances and all for free/pay what you want download.
Lead single ‘Suburban Fame’ had a video clip up online which gathered a few hits and shares and hinted at the quality release that was to follow. http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=BdVJ1XEtcbQ (look here)
The mix is spot on and you can hear every instrument evenly and clearly. The extra layers of guitar wailing and reverby lead parts don’t get too over the top and add just the right amount of texture and colour. There’s an intelligent amount of space in between the instruments especially between bass and drums who work well together, no member over plays or outshines another and leaves plenty of breathing room for guitars to ring out or chug along. It’s a damn shame that a band like this one..who is genuinely hitting their groove and reaching this point of refinement is at the end of their journey. Track #4 ‘Memoirs’ has this brilliant lull at like 1:15 where percussion comes in, clean guitars pick notes and there’s the screaming over the top. It’s stuff like that which made me really take notice of how far this band has reached beyond their beginnings and brought something really creative to pass on this EP.
Lyrically this material is powerful, heartfelt and positive. There are undeniably uplifting themes throughout the 5 songs making this different from the standard sad-boiz-club soundtrack. The opening track ‘Bittersweet Youth’ has the standout lyric ‘..lately I’ve learnt that it’s alright to not be okay’…and if it doesn’t stick with you after the first listen…check your pulse. This will resonate with fans of ‘Being As An Ocean’ and ‘La Dispute’ for the combination of clean guitar work, passionate vocals and heavy hitting drums.
As I said earlier, it’s a damn shame they’re packing it in.
But….what a hell of a release to go out on!