Cloud Rat - Cloud Rat
Grindcore Karaoke
11 songs (17:32)
Release year: 2010
Reviewed by Koeppe

This debut album of upstart Michigan grinders Cloud Rat is quite a nice surprise. Lyrical subject matter is standard Leftist grind bollocks about women’s rights and veganism, yet the vocals are screamed at a pitch of indecipherability in case that doesn’t tickle your fancy.

Grindcore becomes a tricky beast to describe each week. Bands write riffs with hooks, drums equate to a barrage of blastbeats, vocals are screamed, and bass, well, it is rarely discernible. These folks operate as a three piece, i.e., without bass guitar a la Pig Destroyer, with a stellar skinsman and a virtuoso at riffs on guitar. Rorik albeit well-versed in the riff similar to Scott Hull, he never downtunes to the same degree in order to make up for the lack of bass. Melodic yet frantic riffs abound in this album, creating a setting for the vocals to be showcased while keeping pace with the endless blasting behind the kit. The drumming is an exercise in efficiency insofar as it never blasts to the point at which it becomes background noise, always maintaining a dynamic with guitar in creating fills. The vocals are intensely heartfelt with cryptically poetic lyrics.

Le Foie du Michigan begins with a seemingly class metal riff before it swept up into the fury that builds up into the breakdown. Sinkhole shows the band being willing to play with the tempo and slowing the pace to a crawl, an atmospheric chug one might say. Canine begins with several sweeps before Madison’s piercing screams ask WHY DON’T YOU WANT ME? WHY DON’T YOU LOVE ME?, which in any other setting might ring of nu metal angst, yet in this context it is pure anguish and pain. Vain presents an awesome motorcycle riff before the high hats kick up and blast away.

Add Madison’s name to the growing list of ladies who can scream as well as the boys. It’s not surprising that the traditionally left-leaning of grindcore and its roots in punk provide a space in which women can succeed in the same manner as the men, unlike power metal where female vocals might be fetishized as ‘operatic’. Grindcore has often sought to exhibit the pain and anguish of existence in contemporary society, yet the frailty in the higher pitched vocals rejuvenate an intensity that might have been lost in the incorporation of simple death metal growls into grind. Regardless of that contribution, without the excellent song-writing and talent of the instruments, this seventeen minute long album wouldn’t be as memorable as it is.

A free download of the album can be found here. The beauty of all of Jay Randall’s label Grindcore Karaoke’s releases is that they can be downloaded for free.

Killing Songs :
Le Foie du Michigan, Canine, Sinkhole, Complex to Break
Koeppe quoted 75 / 100
1 readers voted
You did not vote yet.
Vote now

There are 7 replies to this review. Last one on Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:20 am
View and Post comments