Noise-rock quartet Rat at Rat R was formed in 1981 by guitarist Victor Poison-tete. Originally hailing from Philadelphia, the band soon relocated to New York City’s Lower East Side and became one of the highlights of the NYC noise-rock scene. With Sonic Youth, Live Skull and Swans among their contemporaries, the music of Rat at Rat R can best be described as no wave guitar-oriented noise music.
In response Ektro Records proudly announces the 27th anniversary re-mastered re-issue of the groundbreaking recording, Amer$ide, Rock and Roll is Dead, Long Live Rat at Rat R including the songs “Plague”, “Asshole”, “Assassin” and seven other brutal tunes, chock full of political overtones and playful sonic chaos, it still continues to resonate in these tumultuous times.
One of New York’s most distinctly radical bands. But there’s a sense of humor here as well, the music is consistently brilliant. the guitars build a wall of clashing tone clusters on one song, clink and scrape delicately on the next. the rhythmic ideas are equally varied. There are more fresh musical ideas on this album than one could absorb in a whole day. —Robert Palmer, N. Y. Times
Go listen to that Rat at Rat R record that came out in 1985, you’ll hear stuff no one was doing. —Glenn Branca,
Nowadays this album sounds less like an epitaph for an ailing musical tradition and more like some fucked up part of a raucous artistic continuum. Sure, the volatility of these songs reflect the band’s attempt to cope with New York’s Lower East Side circa 1985, but the accompanying swagger comes straight out of central Pennsylvania, their mid-seventies birthplace. —Jordan Mamone
Longevity is particularly problematic and inconstant as a dimension of time when it is applied to rock bands. Furthermore, when the band in question has, as Rat at Rat R has, made a conscious decision to situate itself outside of the music industry machinery, longevity becomes a concept that is far sketchier and even more limited in scope. However, if Rat at Rat R has not gone anywhere on the map of commercial success then where they have stayed is a place on the cultural margin, with its own nuances of intent, success, genre, and virtuosity. —Carlo McCormick