Finnish power trio Rat Boogie offer a refreshing trip back to the past on their new, digital-only album Bad Gravity.
Despite having a sound rooted firmly in the area where pub rock and new wave had an unholy union in 1978, theirs is a remarkably fresh-sounding noise. Wonderboy adds some nice keyboard touches to the standard guitar-bass-drums mix, adding an almost XTC-like veneer of sophistication to the otherwise serrated edges of Mika Palosaari‘s guitars.
Palosaari offers lead vocals too, ably supported by bassist Mika Säkkinen, and the pair’s vocals are strong in tandem throughout the album, whatever the style of music the band takes on. Go Down (Wayward Sun) moves from the late seventies backwards about ten years, offering psychedelic tinges to the mix, with Pasi Aikio adding some Keith Moon-styled drumming in places for added authenticity.
The band pack a lot of songwriting sophistication into such a simple format; the superb Another Day, Another Night is possibly where everything comes together best, starting out with a Stonesy Groove before expanding the horizons of the song in a superb exposition of tight harmony vocalising and even tighter musicianship. Simple, yet devastatingly effective.
Those keyboards come back (uncredited on my copy I’m afraid) on the sunny Downriver, augmenting the sound with a proggy deliciousness, whilst Britpop fans might find the jaunty Some Kind of Light appealing with it’s cheeky Supergrass rhythms and a fine vocal from Palosaari. He plays a rather fine guitar solo on the track, too!
A lot of ground is covered on Bad Gravity, almost none of it metallic in nature, but if you don’t mind a bit of a rest from the ol’ sturm and drang every now and then I can’t think of a better record currently doing the rounds to immerse your ears in. Give it a whirl!
Bad Gravity releases on August 14th