Rat Silo “The Great Northern Way”
Jim Newton and his band have done it better. The Great Northern Way is the band’s 3rd release and while still somewhat raw and unpolished, the band has refined its extremes while still exploring their roots in hard rock grooves and funk.
Opening track Ass-Camp, about a child not wantingn to go to ‘fat camp’, is a clear indication of what’s to come with quirky lyrics and a style that is pure Rat Silo. I especially love the piano touches (Dave Osbourne).
2:45 is very odd in a good sort of way; groovy, trippy, mesmerizing. Reminiscent of the early Kinks – a running list of things revolving around the number – and unpredictably it ends at …
I’m Alive conjures the smoky underground punk performances with tons of cymbals, little post production polishing (which just makes this entire album stand out imho), and pure raw energy usually reserved for first time bands of 20 somethings. A good hook draws you in and keeps you grooving throughout.
A killer guitar lick drones and throbs throughout Greedy which is not quite blues, not quite rock but very catchy. A definite ‘get off your ass and dance song’ it had me turning up the system even louder than it already was.
Heavy (inspired by MGMT according to singer Jim Newton) is announced forcefully and excitingly by a single electric guitar. The dept and layers of vocals and synth give it a multi-dimensional quality… still cranked loud enough to shake the windows.
Rat Silo often chooses quirky song titles and Fat Fucker Blues is no exception. The song too is quirky – changing temp a myriad of times in the intro, first verse and chorus but whatever they’re doing it works. Piano notes and heavy snare drum in the first chorus give it a jazzy feel and the vocals from Newton are quite boppy almost skat –like. My favorite song off the album.
Another MGMT inspired funk rock groove song is the album’s longest track, Gimme Dat segues into Mr Twice-a-week nicely.
Bob Dylan meets the Ramones in Baby Ride-on. The speedy staccato style lyrics meld beautifully with the quirky punk beat. Love it.
Duh brings to mind The Doors in the first few bars. Big, booming and grand, its frenzied instrumentation is punctuated by vocals without actual lyrics. The perfect ending to this album – going out with a bang!
All in all this is a fabulous album if you like things as true as possible, unpretentious and imperfect. it’s a sonic smorgasbord that is catchy, toe tapping, and will not ever make good ‘background’ music and that’s a good thing!
The Great Northern Way was recorded at Vancouver’s Hipposonic recording studios with the band’s Jim Norton and Dave Ogilvie (Skinny Puppy, 54-40, Marilyn Manson) producing. As the band says – “Please enjoy the music at a loud volume with the beverage of your choice. Rat Silo asks that you enjoy the beverage irresponsibly.
*Beverage not included with this offer.”
Be sure to catch Rat Silo live Feb. 17 at Lanalou’s, 362 Powell Street, Vancouver
©nightMair Creative 2008-2012