This is a review of "Brittle Pale Blue EP" recorded by Drat. The review was written by Gavin Miller in 2004.
Hailing from Ireland, but sounding decidedly American, Drat are here to tide over all the Weezer fans who are tired of waiting for Rivers to get off his ass and write some more albums.
'Brittle Pale Blue', the title track from this, their second EP, is an upbeat slice of 'geek rock' (man I hate that term) reminiscent of Weezer's more down beat tracks from their first album, even at times hinting at Death Cab For Cutie-ish strums and plucks. It's an interesting mix, considering they sound very much like Fountains Of Wayne, circa their eponymous debut LP.
That wailing synth / organ thing is all over every track here, and none more so than on track 2, 'Palsy Boy'. Obviously a nod in the direction of all the American bands Drat have been weaned on, it's an enjoyable four minutes or so of catchy rock, laden with melodies, modern production values and some great guitar riffs.
'My Version Of Events' slows things down, with its sombre intro, crashing cymbals and guitar riffs. Then they seem to switch a gear on the line "we get drunk / and fall down stairs", and inject a bit of energy into proceedings with another catchy melody and some great dual singing. This is what Kenosha used to sound like about two or three years ago when I saw them last, but Drat manage to sound even more American than the American bands they seem to love so much.
'By The Birds' is another three-chord catchy rock number, with its insanely high-in-the-mix synth lead thingy and its steady chugging guitar riff. It's a simple yet effective number, and destined to have fans of Weezer, FoW, Lowgold, etc. jumping up and down for joy at the prospect of some more sugar coated rock from America. Or in this case, Ireland.
Whilst Drat aren't the most original band ever, this CD is still entertaining. Containing some infectious melodies, some great song writing and a knack for those little hooks that make a good song great, 'Brittle Pale Blue' is a promising start from a promising band.