Formed in 2004, going on an extended hiatus two years later, UK punk ‘n’ rollers Yorkshire Rats soon showed through debut album Sea of Souls, that their return around a decade after that first step was equipped with even greater energy and passion, not forgetting creative adventure. Instantaneously impressive but equally revealing itself a slow burner that only increasingly impressed and thrilled as regular company for ears, the album was the mark of a band fuelled with a fresh fire and determination aligned to their renowned no punches pulled lyrical and musical snarl. It also hinted that the band was destined to create bigger treats ahead, a potential certainly confirmed and built upon by the Trouble City EP. A three track punk ‘n’ roll stomp sharing contagion soaked choruses, spiky hooks, and forcibly engaging dynamics, the EP is unashamedly anthemic punk rock to swing bodies to and breed greedy appetites for.
Created by Don Mercy (ex-Abrasive Wheels, ex-Billy No Mates), Yorkshire Rats definitely made a potent impact first time around marked by a single and EP, as well as a live presence which at its height saw the band supporting Rancid before going on that hiatus. Fair to say the quartet did not waste time in echoing its earlier success upon returning either, then easily eclipsing it with the release of Sea of Souls via Indelirium Records in the March of 2015 to fan and media acclaim. Now building on the album’s success and a tour with CJ Ramone, as well as shows around Europe last year, the foursome of vocalist/guitarist Mercy, lead guitarist Matt Lee, bassist Josh Clarke, and drummer Chris Furness are poised to stir up an even bigger fuss with the Trouble City EP.
The EP’s title track, and new video single directed by Chalkman Video, opens up the release. Straight away rhythmic bait and fiery guitar strokes entice as the song’s infectious rock ‘n’ roll begins to blossom alongside the strong tones of Mercy. Never ones to hang around, the band soon uncages a keenly catchy chorus surrounded by spicy hooks. It is a seriously rousing moment in an increasingly anthemic proposal which easily takes body and attention in its Stiff Little Fingers scented hand to feed them and the imagination the ever potent emotive strength and heart of the band.
The following Amy strides in with a heavier air and emotion next, though it too shows early glimpses of bold infectiousness and tenacity as it expands. Naturally woven into the Yorkshire Rats sound are seventies punk and eighties new wave/power rock textures. They are essences which especially flourish on this song though equally a Tom Petty-esque blues hue escapes to add more appealing colour to a song swiftly lighting up ears.
Nothing But A Liar brings the release to a mighty close. Emerging us our favourite song, it is a warmly enticing confrontation with thumping beats and a sonic jangle that alone pretty much ignite greed. The grouchy tone of Clarke’s bass and the spiralling tapestry of craft and endeavour from Lee only reinforce the thick bait working away around the boisterous lures of Mercy’s vocals and the song’s heavily persuasive anthem. There is definitely a whiff of The Jam in their early days to the track too, another spicy ingredient in the merciless virulence of the song.
Ending on its highest point and only leaving ears and emotions eagerly aroused from start to finish, Trouble City cements Yorkshire Rats as one heftily rousing and thoroughly enjoyable protagonist; the purveyors of undiluted rock ‘n’ roll to improve any day.
The Trouble City EP will be released March 15th on the band’s own Northern Ruff Records.
Pete RingMaster 16/02/2016
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