Shout Outs: Ratatat’s LP3

CD book outsideRatatat
2008; XL Recordings

My Rating: 9/10

Ah, ear candy. This is “neat sound” music, kind of like Four Tet, but Ratatat brings a higher tempo to the mix, and a classic rock ethos. The guitars typically play the vocalist role in this outfit, and “Falcon Jab” gets things off to a good start after a droning introduction with “Shiller.” “Mirando,” the first high point, comes off like Steely Dan mixed with old school Metallica, and like any good instrumental, the music is so lyrical you won’t be missing any vocals.

“Bird Priest” shows that these guys have a penchant for the visual, while  “Shempi” demonstrates that this is a band brimming with ideas, the kind of excellent ideas that gave us those Saturday morning cartoons back in the mid-80’s. One or two tracks  lose me – “Dura” is a little too hip-hop cool inflected. But “Brulee” is an excellent change-up, reaching a bit into reggae, and “Mumtaz Khan” does a decent job with an eastern flavor.

“Gipsy Threat,” though a bit random, does provide an interesting interlude from the record’s standard dynamic,  and “Black Heroes” ends it all in a satisfying way. Overall, not a bad third effort. These guys do make really great “neat sound” music, and if you’re like me, you’ll find yourself coming back to this one.

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