You’d think a band called Ratboys would be some sort of punk band with young males with sketchy Mohawk hair and Liquid Paper writings on their black leather coats yelling their life away. But you’d be wrong. Ratboys is actually a melodic garage grunge band, from Chicago, Illinois, led by a female singer that has the softest voice and the cutest melodies.

Julia Steiner sings very smoothly, with great reminiscence of the Deal twin sisters’ act The Breeders. On songs like MCMXIV (which means 1914 by the way), its tough not to think about the 90s’ band that vanished too fast after the Cannonball megahit. The groove, the chord progression, the voice… It’s all there.

Julia Steiner carries on with other songs with strong hooks (and funny titles): Charles Bernstein is a cool one with vocal harmonies and cool evolution through its five minutes and a half. Steiner proves she’s a strong songwriter on the next song, Folk Song For Jazz, with great hooks, on Postman Song. They’ll go the moody folk route on Our Mortician’s Daughter, back on the grungier side of things on the closing track, simply called And, as every verse starts with this word. David Sagan is on guitar and most instruments while William Lange and Jordan Parel join on bass and drums when playing live.

The more you’ll listen to Ratboys’ very first album, the more you’ll start to think that Steiner and her gang are serious about their music, even with this banal and not suitable band name, for their kind of music. A pretty cool indie rock band that has their own thing going.

(Topshelf Records, 2015)

-Genre: soft garage indie rock
-Sounds like The Breeders, Alvvays, Sleater-Kinney

Follow the band via their Facebook page
Listen to videos on Julia Steiner’s YouTube channel

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About The Author

Mélomane invétéré plongeant dans tous les genres et époques, Nicolas Pelletier a publié 6 000 critiques de disques et concerts depuis 1991, dont 1100 chez emoragei magazine et 600 sur, dont il a également été le rédacteur en chef de 2009 à 2014. Il publie "Les perles rares et grands crus de la musique" en 2013, lance le site RREVERB en 2014, et devient stratège numérique des radios de Bell Média en 2015, participant au lancement de la marque iHeartRadio au Canada en 2016. Il dirige maintenant la stratégie numérique d'ICI Musique, la radio musicale de Radio-Canada.