by Dan Goldin (@post_trash_)
New Haven, CT's Bilge Rat may just be the Nutmeg State's next great underground hope. Formed just five months ago, the trio are set to release their debut EP, Townie Garbage, on January 8th via TombTone Records and Good Sadie Media. Bilge Rat's sound is a dark and winding blend of outsider indie rock with the twisted post-punk unpredictability of the New England scene we're so fond of here at Post-Trash. There's a great deal of dissonance, both in the music and their song-structures, as alternatively tuned guitars and interesting chord changes create the perfect texture for Michael Kusek's (guitar/vocals) dejected but vibrant vocals.
With the band's EP coming out in just under a month, we're pleased as punch to premiere "Jon Puked Last Night," Bilge Rat's first official single and a great example of their uneasy charm. Please don't let the song's goofy title fool you, this is far from frat-dude party punk, though the song's woozy seasick quality could soundtrack a drunken misadventure in the best of ways. Comprised of Kusek, Thomas Hart (bass), and Quinn Pirie (drums), "Jon Puked Last Night" opens with an ominous arpeggiated intro before Kusek sings "Look at the townies, they bike in the bar room, write on chalkboards and knock each other down" with a warbled delivery. You get the idea he wants nothing to do with this (and perhaps Townie Garbage isn't just a clever name), as he hammers it home on the next line, "I'll drink my cough medicine outside in the parking lot and we will twist around" with enough staggering enunciation to do the syrup proud.
Pirie's drums sound enormous, absolutely demolishing the careening rhythm with a jazzy flurry of dense polyrhythms that recall Pile's Kris Kuss (a compliment I do not use lightly). The tension of the song builds as Kusek sings about anxiety, serenely imagined death, and ultimately the mundane reality in the song's closing lyrics, "I wake at 3am paranoid and anxious, I make my breakfast, and take out the garbage".
Townie Garbage is a record not to be missed. Bilge Rat are setting the bar high on their debut, and we're excited to watch the band grow. One of our most anticipated debuts upon 2016's arrival, Bilge Rat should be on your radar.
Bilge Rat is playing with Cloakroom and Wildhoney on Jan 6th @ Bar in New Haven, CT. Full details HERE. Townie Garbage is out January 8th via TombTone Records and Good Sadie Media. Pre-orders are available HERE via Bilge Rat's bandcamp page.