THOUGHTS WORDS ACTIONS
Everyone plays rock’n’roll nowadays. New bands pop from every corner, and the majority sound good, but I always had an impression something was missing. All these bands have what it takes to call themselves rock’n’roll bands, but I guess the lack of sincerity in their performance forces me to think they’re not that good. Well, that’s about to change because Fret Rattles have everything you ever needed from a rock’n’roll band, and maybe even more. Are You Ready? is their latest extended play release that carries three powerful rock’n’roll songs, stacked with many qualities you probably haven’t heard for a long time. Since 2014, Fret Rattles released two full-lengths such as Pedal To The Metal And Damn The Consequences, and The First One. They also have a couple of split two 4-way split releases like 4-Way Freakout Vol. 1 (with Fuck Knights, Leather Sweater, and Liquor Beats Winter) and Rock’n’Roll Manifesto 7″ Series Vol. 1 (with Tiger Touch, The Missle Studs, and JJ & The Real Jerks). As you can see, these guys keep themselves busy as much as possible, and each record shines bright with sheer quality.
As I said, Are You Ready? EP carries three excellent compositions rarely heard on the rock scene nowadays. Even if you stumble upon bands like these, they’re probably lurking on the underground scene because they play rock’n’roll how it should sound. Loud, raw, and energetic. Fret Rattles may seem like a regular rock’n’roll band to inexperienced ears, but for those knee-deep into this genre for years, this band plays one of the best versions of action rock. It’s a music genre that incorporates fundamentals of rock’n’roll with some of the finest qualities of punk rock, so don’t be surprised if their music reminds you of something punk bands did back in the seventies or eighties. These songs carry tremendous amounts of relentless energy, dynamic, and power, decorated with a thick layer of abrasive, raw, dirty, fuzzy distortion. That’s where the garage rock jumps in because fuzziness is probably one of the main characteristics of that music genre.
I adore how many ideas these guys invested in these numbers. Each track bursts with excellent structure, arrangements, accentuations, and other properties that define catchy, addictive, hypnotic rock songs. Both guitars sound tight in the mix, and you’ll solely enjoy their energetic performance. They implemented each riff, chord progression, and guitar solo in the right places, so this material sounds excellent from scratch to finish. I like how the warm-sounding basslines are properly volumed up in the mix, so you’ll hear each low-end tone delivered by the bass player. Nothing would sound so profoundly dynamic without enormously good rhythmic sequences, continuous accentuations over the cymbals, drum fills, and other percussive acrobatics. The lead vocalist delivers subtle layers of distortion while singing, so his performance contributes to the aggression and abrasiveness of this material. Are You Ready? is a demonstration of power separated into three songs you need to hear as soon as possible. The 7″ vinyl record is available directly from the band, so head over to Fret Rattles’ website for more information about ordering this rock’n’roll gem.
Minnesota’s Fret Rattles are a great live act in the sense that when you go to see them, they whap you around for an hour or so, knock the bored look off your face, and leave you dazed and walking funny. They are not necessarily the type of band, however, where you walk home from the club humming their tunes. As such, this seven-inch is more of a steamroller than a toe-tapper—a thick, rock’n’roll pummeling in the grand Sympathy For The Record Industry tradition of the mid-nineties. The hit here—as much as a band that just clobbers you from start to finish can be said to have a “hit”—is probably “One Step Ahead,” because it reminds me of fighting ninjas on top of a large hydroelectric dam. If they ever become a ska band, they can follow it up with “One Step Beyond” by Madness. What can I say, I’m an idea man. BEST SONG: “One Step Ahead.” BEST SONG TITLE: “Degeneration Ride.” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: “Fret Rattles” can be anagrammed into “Terf Starlet,” which I find excruciatingly hilarious.–Rev. Nørb (Self-released)