David Rat-The United Hates (Digital Only) dromedary Records (2014)
1. Me 03:08
2. MT 01:27
3. Dancing With the Star-ving 04:17
4. Greenbrier, Tennessee 03:00
5. Fear in the Western World 05:45
6. Swansong 52 03:38
7. Miss Anthrophy 04:44
8. Become Like The Sun 03:36
9. This Is Fucking Why 04:59
10. Survivi-cide 02:53
As much as I hate Facebook sometimes, once in a while I come across something that is just floating by a thread, and if you don’t grab at it, sometimes it simply disappears and you will probably never think of it again. I happened to have experienced a bit of this serendipity today, as a good friend of mine posted the link to David Rat’s new release The United Hates on dromedary Records, and luckily, I grabbed for it. For those who are either too young to remember, or were listening to Ted Nugent in the early to mid 80s, David Rat was the drummer/composer for the seminal NYC No-Wave band Rat At Rat R, who along with Swans and Sonic Youth, set the stage for alternative music’s coming out party. David now lives in Brazil with his wife and dog, and teaches English- but he has also re-entered the world of Avant Garde music with The United Hates.
At once I was able to detect the early Swans influences, or perhaps the Swans were influenced by Rat At Rat R. Either way, this album is a collection of contrasts- ugliness, beauty, anger, Love, hate, hope and regret. Not too much happiness going on. And that produces a dark but beautiful piece of art. David’s lyrics are poetry in the truest sense of the word, and his band of Brazilian musicians couldn’t have been more perfect for this atonal masterpiece. Songs like Me, and Become Like the Sun are the most powerful songs I have heard all year. My favorite pieces, such as Greenbrier Tennessee are seething, enigmatic compositions, dark as night, yet displaying an innocent beauty underneath the pall. One line from Greenbrier Tennessee made me laugh out loud, because I identify with it in a way: “yes I am a fuck-up, but at least I outlived you.” Swansong 52 is a mesmerizing departure, replete with beautiful female vocal background, as David recites his poetry in monotone, as imposing piano chords lumber behind it all as he begs the question-“How many bad choices can you shove into one heart as it grows smaller…and blacker?”
I am glad that I have found this on the interwebs, because I can honestly say that it is the most interesting release that I have heard this year. I implore you to download this excellent digital album for the paltry $5 dromedary Records is charging, because the proceeds go to PAWS animal rescue organization. Hopefully, a vinyl release will happen down the road. You can listen and buy the album on the label’s BandCamp, where you will also find the names of all of the amazing musicians that are part of The United Hates. While you’re at it, check out this Vimeo Video titled David Rat Got Married to catch up with what David has been up to, as well as behind the scenes clips of the making of the music from The United Hates. Have at it.