Given the erratic balderdash making its presence felt on the initial seconds of Discography 2 from Cloud Rat, it wasn’t surprising to me when I looked and saw that they share a home state with Wolf Eyes (Michigan). So I was like oh, it’s going to be another Wolf Eyes ripoff like Pharmakon.
Luckily, Discography 2, their second album which sounds tight, focused and most importantly extremely psychotic is anything but, instead doing justice to their self-ascribed Bandcamp epithet of “grindpunk,” which I’d actually never heard before today but which fully ingratiates itself to the larger genus of casual-funeral-clad headbangers, when you think about it.
Discography 2 is nicely sequenced without a doubt and does a good job of toggling between punk and metal, as if the band’s identity ambiguities only serve to feed its frustration, which then, of course, only serves to feed its power and authority. Live it would be easy to see these guys (two guys and a girl lead singer) being absolutely crushing, although I bet the drummer and guitarist have to lift a lot of weights in order to do this stuff, and the singer has to down a lot of codeine cough syrup. But these matters are all pending.
My tentative favorite song on this album is the undeniably punk and vaguely psychedelic “Fish in a Pool” (most of these tunes clock in at under a minute and a half) because… ah yes… it reminds me of No Age (I know you probably want to punch me now). Other places, you guessed it, are a little metal — Cloud Rat have way too much personality and moxie to devolve into the chord-dominated, prog-metal bathos of “Papuza,” although obviously you’ve gotta love that song title.
And in general, the achievement du jour of Cloud Rat is just breathing new life into rock music in general and doing it without self-indulgence: Discography 2 is airtight and focused and what’s more, urgent, yet all the while organic, document illuminating the desperate mindset of those frustrated in 23 different ways, one for every “song” on this album.