INTRODUCING…: Cloud Rat
Inception-style, this is a series within a series. The next few Introducing… posts are going to be focusing on bands who came very close to making my Best Of 2011 lists, but for whatever reason didn’t quite make it. That said, each of these bands are more than worth checking out if they sound appealing to your genre interests.
I was introduced to Cloud Rat by pure curiosity and coincidence. I found their self-titled début EP free for download on J. Randall’s Grind Karaoke Bandcamp page, gave it a spin, and then promptly gave it another spin. I couldn’t quite wrap my head around what I was hearing.
Female-fronted grindcore was what greeted my ears, but unlike the political chaos of Napalm Death or the gore-splattered Carcass, this was more of an introspective and philosophical kind, mixing in a bit of sludge metal as well. The overdriven guitars and blurred drumspeeds are still there, but there were also mellower passages and slowed-down muddy sections, all culminating in a rolling rollercoaster of a ride. Oddly, the lack of a bass player doesn’t bug me, the guitars more than make up for it.
The lyrics are fascinating to read, full of a clear catharsis in the vocalist’s mind, dealing with topics of abandonment, abuse and self-hatred, screamed at full volume (the band met at a gig where Madison was almost louder than the vocalist onstage) or in a downtrodden spoken-word befitting the words.
“My insides are coming out, our minds are destroying themselves
The mirror is everything we think we are
Everything we are not.”
Despite forming recently, in December ’09, Cloud Rat’s members have spent time in other groups, and this shows in solid and powerful songwriting on S/T. I also just started spinning their second release, Fever Dreams, (a combination of the songs on their split releases) and can firmly say it’s up there at the same level if not higher.