Words: James Frostick
Brisbane’s Rat Revenge is a new industrial-tinged post-punk two-piece that has just released its debut EP. The four-track offering is powered by the unholy union of desire and vengeance, and is a sublime example of interplay between textures and emotions.
There are some interesting sounds bubbling to the surface of Brisbane’s underground scene at the moment – all interestingly offbeat and warped by the Sunshine State’s sultry climate. One such newcomer is Rat Revenge – a nocturnal two-piece that is still in its infancy, but the duo’s blend of gothic-tinged post-punk is already engrossing. Self described as a genre-bending mix of sounds (industrial, dark wave, post-punk etc), Rat Revenge has followed up its first offering (synth-heavy subterranean dance floor filler ‘Neon Tomb’) with a four-track EP that is more abrasive, more visceral and more bombed-out than the pristine pulse of ‘Neon Tomb’. The EP, I Hate Myself… But I Love Rat Revenge, offers up a dichotomy of textures – crystalline gems with jagged edges, smooth leather adorned with sharp spikes, porcelain skin glinting with piercings, starlit waters that belie a tumultuous undercurrent.
Rat Revenge’s EP is coloured by some of the most fervent emotions – repulsion, lust, malevolence and frustration, chiefly. The lead track, ‘I Hate Myself’ encapsulates vocalist Doominique’s antipathy toward the self. Backed by Steven Revenge’s churning morass of obliterated lo-fi sound, we hear fragments of hurt and shame as Doominique debases herself at the behest of some encompassing darkness out of her control (“I ate your sin / I poisoned myself / And I’ll do it / All over again”). On ‘Fuck Me In The Graveyard’, Doominique is again at the whims of a terrible force – her desires. Throughout the track she grapples with demons clamouring for release, but succumbing to these primitive instincts might lead to further turmoil (“And if I can’t control them / It’ll be my demise”). Rat Revenge’s cover of Your Funeral’s ‘I Want To Be You’ is an unrepentant ode to self-loathing and the grass-is-always-greener mindset we have when daydreaming of inhabiting someone else’s shoes. Gripping stuff!
Rat Revenge is a cracking listen for fans of sonic depravity – the sound of a ravaged psyche screaming into the storm. This release is a welcome dose of rawness into a scene that could do with a reminding of its savage origins.