The Rats Of NYC: Montijo, Portugal – live review

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The Rats Of NYC
Portugal, Timilia Das Meias
22nd June 2012

New York garage punk band The Rats Of NYC are becoming quite well known for their attitude laden songs that remind people of The Ramones. They recently played a gig in Portugal & Louder Than War writer Eva Seljan was there to see it.

The Rats were never a problem

It was our first time in Montijo. We asked some locals to show us the way to a good venue of any kind, they sent us to Timilia das meias. It was still early, so we asked about the set up stage and found out a gig was on in an hour. One bottle of cheap whiskey later, the place was filled with anticipating rock souls and hipsters.

A bit past eleven the murky air, trembling with expectation, was filled with fast riffs. The small room was soon jumping with excitement, some of my mates got called onstage ”“ still not sure what that was about, the walls covered in gig posters came alive with red and purple lights, which made the ambience both angry and fun. A reminder of what we've been missing.

Dancy rock tunes, attitude and smart words that convinced us to siege the club for the rest of the week, were perpetrated by The Rats of New York, a garage rock band emerging from seeming calmness of NYC punk scene. An ever changing cast of four rats, promoting their new material with an Iberian tour of Spain and Portugal, have so far been in top 10 radio airplay, featured in films and novels, toured the world and have some catchy recordings to rub in your face.

After the gig, I asked a mate to describe the band and all he said was: ''They're fast.''

They've been called unpredictable, though quite clearly they're on their way up. Loud guitars, rattling beats and flirtatious vocals still vibrate in my ears when I think of that Friday night. The setlist sadly didn't stick in my head. I blame that entirely on fruity wine punch, because The Rats' gig that night was many things and forgettable wasn't one of them. Despite the speed and intensity of their musical output, you're more likely to get blisters on your feet than on your eardrums. If you dance to the Ramones or Buzzcocks, you will dance to this.

The bands website can be found here & they are on Myspace here.

All words by Eva Seljan.

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