Having worked together for nearly a decade, the magic between Gogogo Airheart’s creative core of Mike Vermillion and Ashish Vyas shows no sign of wearing off, with original drummer Andy Robillard returning and new guitarist Ben White filling out the group. Though rooted in the early rumblings of punk, GGGAH demonstrate flexibility with their songwriting, producing a successful fusion of experimentation and raw pop sensibility. All four members approach their instruments with a high level of playfulness and precision, producing the diverse array of songs that makes up their fifth album, Rats! Sing! Sing!After the odd intro “Rats,” the band dives right in, twisting and turning like a wave of furry vermin rushing through the streets. Vermillion and White’s staccato guitars hammer out the infectious undiscovered rock hit “Lie With the Lamb” with Robillard throwing in a little jazz technique. On “So Good” the lead guitar floats above the rest of the song, alternating between well-paced melodies and chaotic solos. Vyas’s bassline on “Burn It Down” can’t sit still, carrying the song although buried in the mix. On “Taxi Up” Vyas lays down a heavy funk loop while Vermillion belts out a sing-along in his raspy voice. Vyas and Robillard churn out a solid dub foundation on tracks “Dub Two” and “Turn Out The Lights” that anchors each jam while Vermillion and White noisily explore with voice and guitar effects.
Only three of the fifteen songs break the 3-minute mark, making Rats! Sing! Sing! a short, fast and sweet experience. Once the disc ends, you’ll catch your hand immediately going for the play button to start it all over again.