EP Review - Ratcat - Electric Lash

 

2002 Blackwelder Records

 

The lead track is taken from the then forthcoming tribute album to The Church.

 

Ratcat – ‘Electric Lash’, is just right in balancing the essence of the original and adding some new character and identity to it, A jangling guitar part is familiar, otherwise there’s a heavier guitar surge throughout, bright drumming not f**ked up in the mix like the originals and a mid song instrumental passage. The vocalist isn’t trying to sound like Steve, some backing vocals add to a pretty busy and up-tempo version.

 

Twinstar – ‘Shell’, shows a bravely chosen less obvious song to cover, taken from the ‘Ashphalt Eden’ EP and now ‘Slow Crack’ re-issue, it’s a fairly straight forward song with great atmosphere played here a little brighter and straighter than the densely hypnotic sound of the original but still revealing all of the hooks of the fine often overlooked song. Some screeching guitar and clever backing vocals give it some identity of its own.

 

Telegraph – ‘My Birthday The Moon Festival’, originally on Steve’s ‘Unearthed’ is another less than obvious selection, as well as being a strangely unorthodox song it is essentially a distinctive strong vocal melody backed here with bright synths, piano, bass and drums evolving into a curious ending with phased effects warping the drums followed by a brief moment of the piano melody. With Steve’s original being just one minute fifty seconds long, this version expands on it by over three minutes.

 

Arno Sojo – ‘The Egyptian’ opens strongly sounding comfortably accomplished, very close in style to the original. The vocal is distinctive and towards the end the song deviates as the original did.

 

Vinesway – ‘Cousin/Angel’, one of my favourites from the second Jack Frost album ‘Snow Job’, it blends a folky verse richly textured with jangling guitar and subtle rumbling bass before kicking into the adrenalin surge chorus and dual vocal parts.

 

Leigh Gregory – ‘Pretty Ugly, Pretty Sad’, from the lead vocalist of ‘Mellow Drunk’, the choice of another ‘Unearthed’ track goes to show the warmth and affection attached to it. Given a gentle treatment of guitars which carve out the atmospheric peaks to great effect while the song floats on the layers of warm bass, acoustic and electric guitar and light drum track. Fittingly recorded on a four track mirroring the essentially demo-like set up of the originals origin. A warm, uncomplicated performance of a great song.