Rat Silo

What the Butler Saw (Independent)

Rat Silo is the latest project headed by singer-guitarist Jim Newton, working here in collaboration with some fairly well-known local musicians, including bassist Don Binns. You may recall that the two played together in a certain Vancouver band that achieved national popularity in the late ’80s and early ’90s, but don’t get the wrong idea. As the new band’s bio states, “Rat Silo doesn’t sound like Sons of Freedom, so give up that expectation.”

What does Rat Silo sound like? For the most part, it sounds like stripped-down rock with blues-based chord progressions. Well, except for “Shut Yer Mouth Jimbo”, which doesn’t have any chords at all, just a clap-along beat and chanted backing vocals. Oh, and “I Don’t Care”, which comes across as punk rock slowed down to a heavy, funereal dirge. I guess that’s what happens when you treat a Ramones song as if it were written by Black Sabbath.

So some of it sounds excellent and some of it seems as if it would benefit from a bigger budget and tighter production. But as the aforementioned bio warns, “Don’t expect the next one to sound exactly like this one.”