‘Fooling Around’ is the latest E.P release on Blackest Ever Black from spaced out modern garage rock band Rat Columns (David West). Originally released in it’s fledgeling form on Rat Columns' album ‘Leaf’ the title track, written in collaboration with Mikey Young (Total Control, Eddy Current Suppression Ring), appears in its full glory with its relentlessly jaded guitars, West’s unmistakable vocals and Young’s psyche synth embroideries finally committed to vinyl.
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- Fooling Around EP by Rat Columns
8/10 Robin Staff review, 05 August 2015
All that transgressive stuff you buy through contracts with the devil from Blackest Ever Black can take the backseat for a minute while psych-tinged rock takes the wheel and drives quite peacefully down the endless motorway of groove. Rat Columns are making rhythmically persistent and sleekly classic rock ‘n’ roll on this EP. Frontman David West is set up to keep on keeping on, and on side A he uses little more than a couple of kinetic riffs per song, some reliable drumming and a woozy synth for making melodies and scraping together ‘scapes.
The first side, an elongated take on ‘Leaf’ track “Fooling Around”, sounds wonderfully subdued, with West barely peaking out above a whisper as a modest but clean-cut riff ambles about the scenery. The rhythms sound like landscape rushing by in a haze, with a chugged-up chord sequence settled on an automatic bassline and a blaring, skyline synth. Hearing the song stretched out lets us experience both the strands of pop song in it and the long, winding journey West wants it to go on.
Three shorter tunes await on the flip suggest West has more than a hand in making contemporary Australian guitar rock as powerful as it is: his roles in Total Control and Lake Curtain have granted him some access to different strands of pop songwriting, and these three tunes show him off as a nimble extractor of momentary melodies (“Strays”) an ambient-pop balladeer (“Should I Leave You Alone?”) and a snarky, rapidfire indie punk (“Waiting In The New World”). Styles on styles, and one of the nicest things BEB has put its name on.
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