Review Summary: Cloud Rat will fuck you up.
The gimmick of a female fronted grindcore band is absent here as Cloud Rat are absolutely furious. Album opener Inkblot
wastes no time in demonstrating the intensity the three-piece can competently deliver before Aroma
slows things right down, before the track plunges the listener right back into the chaos. From the start too, it’s obvious that the production job here, whilst fairly polished by grindcore’s standards, still has a DIY quality to it, meaning the guitars often resemble chainsaws and when the drums blast away at their fastest speeds, everything remains crystal clear.
The band adds plenty of variation through the album’s half-hour running time too. The first half pretty much flies by with Widowmaker
being two of the fastest tracks on offer here. Infinity Chasm
, the record’s midpoint, sees the band slow down through Brooks’s use of broken chords. The contrasting male/female vocals are a welcome change too, and the song overall acts as breathing room for what has just passed, and what is still to come, and it wouldn’t feel out of place on the latest Circle Takes the Square release too.
Madison Marshall’s vocals are absolutely poisonous and leave absolutely nothing to be desired. Whilst her range is fairly limited, the snarl with which she delivers her lyrics is absolutely uncompromising placing her up alongside such female hardcore vocalists such as Becca Cadalzo of Cerce fame and Meg from Punch. The odd spoken word phrase in the penultimate track Vigil
is a nice touch too, again reminiscent of the band’s screamo influences.
For a grindcore band, Cloud Rat have such a sense of dynamics and skillful song writing that other albums pale in comparison. Whilst Moshka
isn't as brutal as anything by Pig Destroyer or Insect Warfare, the band’s intensity and fury is unmatched. If anything, their debut LP proves that Cloud Rat are one to look out for.