I can’t think of a better way to get things rolling here again. Heaven & Hell Records in North Carolina just unleashed the first true reissue of WHITE BOY & THE AVERAGE RAT BAND since 1980. This self-titled sludge bomb has likely become the holy grail of titles for many record collectors, but this new pressing makes it accessible to a whole new generation who loves blowing their eardrums out in the name of ripping, metal-influenced guitar hookage.
No matter what is said about this one, it feels like an understatement given how heavy it all is. Sure, it sounds an awful lot like an awful lot of other established bands, but naming them is unnecessary. Even after being recorded roughly 40 years ago, White Boy & the Average Rat Band still manage to create a few twists and turns of their own.
After the short and glistening synth-driven “Prelude,” the record kicks off with a sloppy drum roll that eventually finds its form. “Neon Warriors” then takes a firm hold, busting this album open at the seams that were already barely holding it together. For the next four-and-a-half minutes your ears are obliterated by snarling waves of guitar heat, pushing you near the brink of insanity, but never fully tipping over. “Sector 387” follows with a slower drag, boasting an atmospheric synth cloud woven through bouts of menacing guitar shreds. Frontman Mike Matney is there with his robotic voice, speaking calmly and deliberately as he descends into hell itself. Album highlight “Maybe I’m a Fool” will make it difficult to believe these guys were influenced by anything but 70s metal with its relentless guitar chugging.
“Blue Moon” has an eerie bluesy vibe that grows out of their seemingly unorganized approach. It’s one of those outlier tracks that sets these guys apart from the pack. While it’s not perfect and polished, they hold it together and their goal is clear. Finger-picked guitars sound twangy and hollow, backed by rollicking percussion and throbbing bass to cap off the albums most rugged offering in the moodiest way possible. “Oriental Doctor” closes the LP with some skull splitting guitar soloing, strategically placed amongst heavy-handed power chords and the steady stomp of drums.
Get your fill over and over again with these few streaming tracks. Even more importantly, you’re probably going to want to purchase the LP before it’s long gone – order now and you can still get the coke-bottle clear vinyl limited to 100 pieces.
BUY the LP from H&H Records – 100 copies on coke-bottle clear vinyl, 400 black
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