Dead Cats Dead Rats – Riff

Rating: ★★★★☆

If you miss Nirvana and have ADD –who doesn’t? – check out Dead Cats Dead Rats’ latest album, Riff.  The longest of the nine tracks clocks in at 2:52, and it all sounds more like 1989 Seattle than 2010 Massachusetts.

The first five tracks are flat out good.  They’re so good, in fact, that it takes a few laps around the album before you catch your breath and realize that the second half drops off a bit.  Still, I’ve been listening to the album nonstop for a week now and I’m not skipping any tracks.

Track four, “Yeah Yeah Yeah,” starts with one of the catchiest hooks I’ve heard in a while, a lazy little backbeat job that’s perfectly placed to follow the howling crescendo at the end of track three, “Subterranean.”

Track two, “Chuncky” is arguably the best of the album.  Opening with the line, “Radio wouldn’t play my song,” it does the soft/hard slow/fast dynamic to perfection, and coupled with Matt Reppucci’s screaming vocals, it’s easy to see why the name “Cobain” comes up in a lot of Dead Cats Dead Rats reviews.

Tracks six and seven are the weakest on the album, but not without value.  They just ramble a little and aren’t as memorable as the rest of the album, which closes with a nice little bluesy number titled, appropriately, “Fritter Blues.”

Dead Cats Dead Rats has a lot of talent and a great sound.  Since their last release, they’ve gotten tighter and more polished without sacrificing any style or energy.  Here’s hoping they keep doing that.

–Ozymandias

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