RATES ON RAFTS’ second album Tape Hiss proves that refining doesn’t always mean toning down. Tape Hiss finds the band with a more defined sound, but they arrived at it by overloading instead of whittling away. Tape Hiss is a lot. There’s not a moment of rest on the album. Its crazy ass cover art does a good job of explaining how the album sounds: it’s a collage of zebras shooting out of a river of swirls, mechanical cogs, a pile of skeletons, a sinking ship, and colors blasting across the sky.
The music on Tape Hiss is just as chaotic and intentionally weird. Its version of pysch punk is both brutal and goofy. The guitars rush through in a twangy stampede, the thumping bass lines whirl relentlessly, and the vocals are half obscured in reverb. Still, it’s not just sonic vomit. Despite that half of the songs on the album are over five minutes, it never feels like the band looses control. There’s a level of intricacy, a method to the madness.
Below, you can watch Rats On Rafts chug through Tape Hiss’s final song, “1-6-8 (Machine).” RSVP for their set during The Lock Tavern Festival day 3 on Saturday, 26 March here.