With the high number of quality stoner acts emerging from Greece right now I wouldn’t be surprised if throwing a stone around the streets of Athens wouldn’t hit some long haired, spliffed up, guitar toting rock star in the making!!! 45 Rats are an instrumental 3 piece from the city who mix up their stoner grooves with some tasty retro rock action.
The basics are all definitely in place here. The sound is nice and thick with a warm old school tone, the riffs are suitably drenched in the blues tradition and the rhythm section lay down some tasty grooves. As well as modern stoner practitioners such as Fu Manchu, Orange Goblin, Clutch and Kyuss it’s possible to detect a heavy 70’s influence from bands such as Budgie, Thin Lizzy and a definite nod towards the NWOBHM.
There’s no doubt that this is a very competent band who kick out some thoroughly enjoyable toe tapping, head bobbing jams and this 5 track EP is a fun listen but whether it really holds up to repeated listens does remain to be seen. At present this feels like a band who are still finding their identity, although the riffs and basic tunes are strong there is nothing here that hasn’t been heard a million times before. With some instrumental acts the absence of a vocalist isn’t a major problem as the music is usually constructed to take this into account. With 45 rats, however, it does feel that a piece of the jigsaw puzzle is somehow missing. This doesn’t feel like a set of tunes written to be instrumentals, rather it feels like a band that is crying out for a vocalist and just carrying on until they find a suitable candidate. The big hairy nature of the riffs here is tailor made for a suitably big hairy rock and roll voice to take them to their natural conclusion. “Groove Salad” is the only track that seems to work as an instrumental in its own right with its backwards riff and tasty harmonica solo. On the other tracks, however, 45 Rats do show that they do have the knack for a catchy tune…if they could just put the icing on the cake.
Here is a band with a lot of potential, it’ll be interesting to see the feedback they receive for this release and how they plan to move forward in the future…keep and eye on them just in case!!!
Label: Self Released
Scribeded by: Ollie Stygall