Cloud Rat’s grind punk is versatile, pissed-off, and heavy | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

Cloud Rat’s grind punk is versatile, pissed-off, and heavy 

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click to enlarge Cloud Rat

Cloud Rat

John Cates

Michigan’s Cloud Rat bill themselves as grind punk, but the truth is that they tear, slouch, and ooze across multiple genres of pissed-off and heavy music. Their 2015 full-length Qliphoth (Halo of Flies) howls from frantic hardcore head snapping to doom trudge, pausing in the middle for an ambient touch. Their three 2017 releases continue to show off their stylistic range and consistently feral attitude. On their split with Crevasse (Halo of Flies) they contribute four short bursts of aggression that forcefully flatten the line between hardcore and thrash, with vocalist Madison shrieking as if she’s being eaten by rabid bats before actually doing something recognizable as singing on their last track, “Fish in a Pool.” Cloud Rat’s music on split with Disrotted (Halo of Flies) could almost pass for another band’s if Madison’s throat-tearing vocals weren’t so distinctive. The trio’s contribution is one 18-minute track that alternates frantic squalls with somber blackened crawls; it’s music of numb terror rather than frantic writhing. Drummer Brandon’s tempo shifts from blistering punk to convincingly heavy doom, and guitarist Rorik is as comfortable with atmospheric filigree as with frantic death-metal stomp. The band’s wild versatility means it’s hard to know exactly what you’ll get when you see them live, but you can trust it will be loud and satisfyingly evil.   v


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