Rat Columns – Rat Columns EP

Rat Columns self-titled, four-track EP is a fascinating take on modern pop. Aussie ex-pat David West, now based in San Francisco, with the help of a few friends has put together a mix of moody atmospheric indie pop tunes. One thing that particularly comes to mind about this EP is the production. With modern production values often listeners expect everything to be crisp and clear. The first thing that comes to mind is the level of the vocals in all of the songs. In opening track ‘I Wonder’ you’re only really able to clearly hear the vocals during the chorus. Similarly throughout the rest of the EP, the vocals lack a bit of clarity, but that doesn’t detract from the listening experience as a whole.The second track ‘Keep Waiting’ has similarities and influences of the sort of experimental pop of Animal Collective. A kind of hiss dominates over the top with pounding drums and melodic piano in the background.‘Glass Coffin’, opens with the sound of what sounds like knocking on glass. This actually invokes an image of someone trapped inside a glass box knocking for help. This track is certainly the most interesting in terms of the sounds used and the eerie atmosphere it creates. The final track ‘Darkness’ is certainly the most accessible of the four. It has a more traditional pop feel, with sparse guitar and rolling bass and drums. The vocals also feel as though they float above the instruments, echoing in the background channeling a vibe similar to that of early Brooklyn band The Drums.This EP may only consist of four tracks but it is not something that can be looked over briefly. It definitely warrants close attention and numerous listen to fully appreciate the mood and interesting take on traditional pop melodies.– Gabe Andrews

September 12th 2011
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