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The Body as Pleasure


Artist: Rat the Magnificent
Label: TTWD Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 22 June 2018

TTWD Records releases The Body As Pleasure, by Rat The Magnificent, a home-grown trio from London. The band consists of Perry M. Anderson on guitar and vocals, Ross Davies on bass, and Anna Dodridge on Drums. They have previously released an E.P. and several singles. This is their debut full-length album. Guest musicians include Stephen Gilchrist, Jen Macro, and Ian Catskilkin.

The music of Rat The Magnificent (which, incidentally, is a great name) is described as Fuzz-laced Experimental Noise Rock – and I would say that is pretty accurate. The music – even as the promotion admits – is an acquired taste. That is an understatement of monumental proportions. There are no catchy choruses, no hook melodies, and no riffs as such.

Influences include Jesus Lizard, Sally Bowles, Slint, Oxbow, Son House, Sonic Youth and My Bloody Valentine. Even as a rock and metal fan I am really only aware of some of the material of the last two. Whilst I wouldn’t agree that it is reminiscent of either of these bands, it does lend Rat The Magnificent a certain individuality. The track Listing is: 'In the Middle Touch', 'Marrtalon', 'Up the Street', 'Where You Been', 'The For', 'The Parlour', 'Olon', 'Ilsflat', 'The Inevitable', and 'Panarron'. The first is like a dreamy, slow 12-bar blues, with a fuzzy and overdriven and back to clean structured sound, which ends abruptly. Then, looking at my notes for the songs, I began to notice a recurrence of phrases: Heavy bass, detuned overdriven guitar, sleepy vocals, slow/lazy pace.

This is essentially where the problem lies. Being experimental is one thing, but sending the listener to sleep or into a boredom coma is quite another. In the majority of songs the singer either sounds drunk or as if he’s been forcibly awoken and made to utter some uninteresting words into a microphone so that he can go back to sleep. Lazy and slow is the order of the day for at least half of the material on offer here. The monotony is such that any change induces a little excitement. 'Up the Street' is the shortest and best track with a slightly more conventional format. 'The For' sounds like a jazzy night club song, and 'Olon' is suitably more up-tempo with good music, but the dreary vocals drag it back into the mire.

I really wanted to like this. However, after two listens I had to admit to myself it was unlikely to grow on me. I appreciate bands that attempt to do something a little different, but my main criteria is energy and melody and this has precious little of either. I wish them the best of luck in their career, but I’m afraid it’s not for me.


Ty Power

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