Radioactive Rats are a five piece hard core metal punk band from Nottingham. Band members are Ewa - vocals, Kubczak - bass, Stemp - guitar, Tomas - drums, Rico - guitar, Wiktor - bass. The band began in 2003 in Poland, originally called Potłuczony Kaloryfer (Smashed Radiator) and later (in 2014) became Radioactive Rats.
I know Ewa and Stemp from them helping out at the Punk 4 the Homeless gigs in Nottingham, and have seen them play a number of times, they have a good following. Their live sets are full on from start to finish, and their crowd is going to have you moshing, whether you like it or not.
The new CD Rat Race, has just been self released, it is 10 tracks of high octane, supercharged hard core. It feels like Radioactive Rats have come of age on this album. It is a real step up, all of the tracks hold together and there is a lot to admire.
If you like your punk hard, fast, heavy and encased in metal then get this album in your ears.
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So what do you get for your hard-earned? A gatefold CD case with excellent graphics, band photo and a lyric sheet, (not for the optically challenged). A classy start.
10 tracks, written and sung in English with the occasional background Polish, scorching guitar licks, driving bass lines and ‘hold your breath, we’re all gonna die’ drumming, (impressive doesn’t do it justice). I believe this to be their first studio album and includes some tracks I recognise from their live sets. Good production and sound, works well, I notice that it appears to have been remotely mastered, better than most.
Intro - actually deserves to be given a name, it could be the soundtrack to an anime chase scene or an adrenaline fuelled online game. Superb start, I was on board and holding on for the ride.
Heads of Nations - rising from a metal guitar opening there is some call and respond vocals, driven on by the brutal drum beat.
New Order New War - we head into oblivion from the measured start into the dark heart of the current day dystopian culture.
Your God - a dirtier punk/doom sound here, grabs you from the off, a Black Sabbath, Warpigs kind of vibe towards the end and then the clever finish. A self assured track, bery strong.
1984 - The Orwellian disaffection with society and the totalltarian state is the backdrop to this slightly more measured track.
Eye for an Eye - this album just keeps on giving, well written lyrics, serious riffs and a surprise ending.
Rat Race - the title track, guess that the band go with their favourite, or the strongest track when giving the album a name. This certainly merits the higher status. Blown away by this one.
Reach the Sky - quick start then fluctuates between thunderous drumming and slower vocals, more accessible and leaning towards mainstream.
Prisoners - technically sound, but the lyrics became secondary to the excellent musicianship, I got a bit confused here, think I missed the point.
The Guns of Brixton - Yes, it’s a cover, and a bloody good one - not trying to be The Clash, but putting the Radioactive Rats heavy twist on a classic. Maybe some will find the ramshackle ending a little disappointing, it worked ok for me. Good finish to a great album.