There are some things which are simply bred for temptation, propositions instinctively natured to lure like sirens. Among their numbers is the debut album from Lucy And The Rats. Deceptively unassuming but one virulent contagion, the release is an irresistible slice of pop punk with a snarl in its heart and the most disarming melodies and harmonies on its breath like a winning blend of The Shirelles, Honey Bane, and Spinnerette.
Lucy And The Rats is the new band from now UK based singer/guitarist Lucy Spazzy, formerly one third of Australian punksters The Spazzys. Once settled in London in 2015, she set about assembling a new band being “bored of playing at home by herself”, subsequently linking up with guitarist Joe To Lose (Los Perros, Johnny Throttle), bassist Mike Cannibal (Animal Cannibal), and drummer Manu (Thee Tumbitas). A pair of ear grabbing singles followed as the band made a stir on the live scene in the Capitol, in turn nationally and all over the world sharing stages with the likes of Buzzcocks and Paul Collins along the way. Produced by Johnny Casino and Jim Diamond (White Stripes, Dirtbombs), their first album is an inescapable tap on the shoulder of the broadest attention and recognition, a sweet sounding proposition so so easy to run off with.
Opening up with Pills, the album instantly had ears attentive and the body rocking. Soon the song strolls along with a summery glaze over eager catchiness as hooks collude with flirtatious riffs and rhythms. There is a whiff of The Shirts to the track as its heart embraces the instincts of pop and rock ‘n’ roll around the magnetic presence and tone of Spazzy.
The following Make You Mine wears a similar hue of sound but quickly reveals its own personality and The Waitresses meets The Crystals like temptation. Again feet were keenly shuffling and hips swinging as melodies seduced hand in hand with golden harmonies but all the while a punk edge stirs accentuated by the wiry enterprise of the guitars, they repeating that taunting prowess in next up Lose My Mind. Imposingly infectious, the song suggested involvement within seconds, manipulating it a few breaths later much to the lusty pleasure returned.
The likes of the surf kissed seduction that is So Simple, a mellow kiss on ears with the melodic smooch of The Dollyrots and rapacious touch of Valentiine, and the pop bouncing Melody just devour attention while the viral shadows of the bass grumbling Night simply danced with the imagination as the song took hold of the waist. It is truly hard to pick a favourite song within the album, all three among the options but the third makes an especially compelling statement.
Through Fall our passions pretty much echo their ardour as it swings with flirtatious grace and mischief, next up Hold On Me emphasising similar manipulation with rolling rhythms and deceptively controlled yet rousing energy with Spazzy tempting like a pop punk conjuring Pauline Murray. All three just leave a greed for much more, the latter laying on the temptation with some great hooks out of the Only Ones songbook, before Girl saunters along without a care in the world sharing the kind of creative snare addiction was invented for.
The album closes with Can’t Surf; a fifties inspired pop ’n’ roll romp which may have lost the heart for hitting the waves but had us riding its enterprising currents with zeal. The track is a thrilling end to one glorious encounter. Lately we have found pop punk to be a touch vacant on real uniqueness and though Lucy And The Rats have a sound which is much more flavoursome than that tagging, their album is the fresh and inspiring breath within both pop and punk, indeed rock ’n’ roll we have been yearning for.
The Lucy And The Rats debut album is out May 25th digitally with Dirty Water Records and on vinyl through Surfin’ Ki Records, Monster Zero Records, and Stardumb Records.
Pete RingMaster 23/05/2018
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