Review: Houston and the Dirty Rats – RAT EP

Artist: Houston & The Dirty Rats
Released: March 5, 2017
Genre: Rat Rock/Punk

Phillipsburg punk band Houston and the Dirty Rats has come forth with a strong first impression in its introductory six-track statement, the recently-released “RAT EP.”

Frontman Houston Herman’s vocal grit is reminiscent of Social Distortion’s Mike Ness, with lyrics that run the gamut from getting stood up (“Be Stag”), to romantic odes (“Frauline”); from having a positive mindset (“State of Mind”), to what it’s like to be discriminated against for your appearance and lifestyle (“Pass Me By”). All of these topics (and more) are delivered over the band’s upbeat punk sound, which is made downright danceable in spots by bassist Baron Gerard.

One interesting moment on the record is closing track, “Banana Song.” Providing the humorous visual of exacting revenge on a bully by way of a rotten banana to the face, the tune borrows as much sonically from the old-time country of Johnny Cash as it does from the Sex Pistols, and features a pair of spirited (and unexpected) kazoo solos

Track listing:
Be Stag
State of Mind
Pass Me By
Banana Song

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