Video for ‘I Wonder’ from Smartguy Records 7” created by fabulous ladies Hannah Lew & Aubree Bernier-Clarke.
Rat Columns’ debut LP is out on Smart Guy Records. You can order it from him or get it from various well-known e-sites. The album has a bit of a sad but very pop vibe, with some excursions into ambience, clanging loops and damaged fuzz. It was recorded in San Francisco but mastered by Mikey Young in Australia. You can hear some of the songs;
David/Jon/Matt/James/others, based in Melbourne/San Francisco, current/former members of Lace Curtain, Rank/Xerox, Burning Sensation, Total Control, Orgy of the Undead, Frank & The Can I Speaklys, Whalehammer, Pauline Manson, Nosedive, KBA, Sopors, Abi Yoyos, Violent Change…
Contact: ratcolumnsATgmailDOTcom or rankxeroxband(at)gmail(dot)com
We are playing this year’s Operation Maximum Freedom (ORMF) festival out at Plainfields Station in the scenic rural surrounds of Woodland, near Davis, California! Pretty much the only festival worth going to, where a good time is actually able to be had. Our friends in the esteemed ignorant HC band Caged Animal are also playing, along with a bunch of sure to be amazing bands.
MAY 18th 2013, Plainfield Station, 23944 County Road 98, Woodland, CA, 95695.
Sick Spits / OGC
Pookie & the Poodles
UC Davis Samba School
UC Davis Gamelan Ensemble
Rank/Xerox & Rat Columns European Tour 2013
We are touring Europe and the UK with Rank/Xerox this summer, 2013. In support of the upcoming re-issue of the Rank/Xerox self-titled LP on Sabotage Records/Blast First and our own general presence in the cosmos.
There are a few towns in Europe that haven’t had the good sense to offer us a show there. If you live in or near one of these towns listed and want to have us there, please, do get in touch. Email rankxeroxband(AT)gmail(DOT)com or Franz at Sabotage Records at info(AT)sabotagerecords.net. United Kingdom, you are sorted.
Here is the approximate schedule;
Tuesday 9th July -Wahlbar, Wilmslow Rd, Manchester
Wednesday 10th July - Wharf Chambers Co-op Club, Leeds
A four-song 7” by Rat Columns is out now on Smartguy Records.
You could cop the sick ‘Paranoid Video’ by those freaks Total Control and the epic Boomgates 7” at the same time, from both those places…
Some of the trax;
A review from The Creative Intersection;
‘I’m going to stop mentioning whether bands are from Australia. It’s just too much of an early give away of how great the music is. Everything seems to be pure gold from that continent, and when it may seem like the bands might start to deform all into the same sound, something comes along removes any sense of encroaching overwrote similarity. Case in point with Rat Columns.
Rat Columns is the solo work of David West. If that name sound unfamiliar, it’s to be expected due to West being a member of the equally under appreciated Rank/Xerox. That post-punk connection sort of sets the stage for what comes out these grooves. From the simple yet stark cover art, the solitude and loneliness of the music is instantly presented. Which is helped by the single itself, which manages to smoothly showcase the various forms that West’s music takes.
It opens with the simple “I Wonder”, as a few sparse drum beats over equally sparse guitar lines. I’ve heard a few comparisons to The Clean’s take on post-punk as a good jump off point for what’s happening in Rat Column’s ;music and parts of that can be picked up on and really bond well with the music. More so though, it sounds like a darker, yet sonically reduced Fresh and Onlys. case in point when the next two songs come on. “Keep Waiting” is a nice 90 degree turn, a noisy synth tune with vocals so low you have to strain your ears to pick them up. It’s quite lovely, evoking little touches of New Order. Then the complete 180 occurs with “Glass Coffin”, clearly bringing to mind the menace of Blue Water White Death’s “Song for the Greater Jihad”, a single deformed instrument becoming more unhinged with the vocals as the song progresses. Then the return an ironic turn back to the original form with “Darkness”, a high point of ringing guitar notes coming together to one of the catchiest moments on the single. The entire 7” is very effortless, simple and not something I was expecting in my inbox. Another superb night time single. ’
A review from Yellow Green Red;
‘Between Siltbreeze and Smart Guy (and the distribution efforts of Easter Bilby), it seems any and all worthwhile underground Australian music is getting the proper promotion here in the States. Rat Columns is the work of Australian expatriate David West (currently of Rank/Xerox fame), and this 7″ follows his recent Rat Columns cassette with some of the same songs. (And the exact same cover photo. I guess if you’ve found that perfect shot, it’s worth using twice.) Nice to hear the sweet little chime of “I Wonder” again, a song that conjures the simple comfort of crawling into a bed with too many pillows. In a world where Blank Dogs have become an endangered species, Rat Columns sticks with songs and avoids messing around with too much home-recording trickery (check that last Kid Romance album), writing these sad post-punk pop songs that console like a penpal letter from a rainy English town. If you own a Joy Division t-shirt and a Messthetics CDr, pick up Rat Columns immediately.’
A review from Razorcake;
‘One of those records that so great and engaging it puts you right in the moment. Members of Burning Sensation, Rank/Xerox, and Total Control get together and create excellent post punk that draws influences from the greats. ”I Wonder” is poppy, though a bit dark and moody, mixing New Order with the Church. The sort of song perfect for rainy afternoons. “Keep Waiting” is fuzzed out, and dark, similar to “Loveless” My Bloody Valentine. I like the minimalism of “Glass Coffin” and how it sounds like nothing else on the record, yet it fits. As the song progresses they add more sound, that gets noisier as it goes, and more disjointed. “Darkness” has a definite Joy Division “Unknown Pleasures” vibe; sparse guitars with a cold tone, driven by the bass and drums. Hearing this song made my day. It’s great; how it builds, and reveals itself over the course of a few minutes. The vocals are somewhere between a whisper and a murmur.I know I’m making comparisons to some great bands out there, but the influences are influences, and this record is great. The more I listen to this the more I’m of the opinion this is one of the best of the year. -M.Avrg’
—- A review from Maximum Rock’N’Roll; ‘I understand that Rat Columns is essentially the solo voice of Rank/Xerox’s David West, and he is responsible for most of the sounds. These sounds are, quite simply, wonderful. Breathy and uncomfortable ’80s new wave not at all unlike Joy Division in its delivery (at least on two of the tracks), but without the abrasive edge and presented in a manner that is sweet rather than scary. Spacemen 3 comes to mind on one song, while the second side starts with a minimal and potentially pretentious track that could easily be dismissed as nonsensical clangs and rambles were it not for the mesmerizing crescendo that closes the song. As with many one person 4-track projects, the sound here varies greatly from song to song, giving this the feel of a mix tape as much as a cohesive release, but mostly it just feels like it is awesome. I hope that Rat Columns remains a secondary outlet, a repository for sounds not welcome in his other bands, though I can easily imagine these songs taking center stage…I just hope they retain this magic if it happens. (WN)’
A review from Maximum Rock’N’Roll;
‘I understand that Rat Columns is essentially the solo voice of Rank/Xerox’s David West, and he is responsible for most of the sounds. These sounds are, quite simply, wonderful. Breathy and uncomfortable ’80s new wave not at all unlike Joy Division in its delivery (at least on two of the tracks), but without the abrasive edge and presented in a manner that is sweet rather than scary. Spacemen 3 comes to mind on one song, while the second side starts with a minimal and potentially pretentious track that could easily be dismissed as nonsensical clangs and rambles were it not for the mesmerizing crescendo that closes the song. As with many one person 4-track projects, the sound here varies greatly from song to song, giving this the feel of a mix tape as much as a cohesive release, but mostly it just feels like it is awesome. I hope that Rat Columns remains a secondary outlet, a repository for sounds not welcome in his other bands, though I can easily imagine these songs taking center stage…I just hope they retain this magic if it happens. (WN)’