In search of camaraderie and new audiences, bands hailing from New Haven, CT are making the trek north to the Greater Boston sprawl. Michael Kusek led trio, Bilge Rat, just released their first official EP via Bandcamp and yes, you should listen to it. “Townie Garbage,” is pure grunge à la Billy Corgan and Blind Melon. The 90s are alive and kicking in 2016, kids, and it couldn’t be nicer.
Perhaps the most nostalgia-inducing track is “Jon Puked Last Night,” a tune that consistently delivers that gritty melancholy that only 90s-themed-rock can truly claim. On familiar squalor within one’s own community, Kusek croons: “Look at the townies/They bike in the bar room/Write on chalkboards/And knock each other down…I am so cold and anxious.” Anyone coming from or going to a small town can relate to this–a scene where those few townies, knockaround guys, teenage heartthrobs/middle-aged losers enter an establishment and wreak havoc on anyone new, just because they can. The glory days have been over for a long time. Might as well embrace the chaos and take a piss on everything you see. The point is Jon puked last night and once the hangover is gone, he’ll probably puke again in a couple of days and even if you’ve left town for a couple of years, some things will never change.
Another gem is the fourth track “David,” which is consistently solid rock. Kusek stretches his vocal chords as far as they’ll go, achieving that whine/cat growl/punch in the gut/come hither thing that all the cool kids think they can do but in reality, can’t. Also kudos must be given to the mastering on this album, done by Patrick Dalton. Never has such a gravelly, “trashy,” debut sounded so clean! Keep your eyes and ears open for this band because they are definitely one to watch.
Their digital debut is available via their Bandcamp page for the low, low price of three dollars. You can also pick up a tangible version, (cassette tape), for five dollars. Go to a show, throw caution to the wind, live your beautiful life, and support local music.