Published on December 6th, 2019 | by Justin G.
Deaf Rat: Ban The Light (AFM, 2019)
Rising from the ashes of Billion Dollar Babies, Deaf Rat is a new Swedsh hard rock band with a decidedly old school sound. And despite the name, the old school influence is neither Def Leppard nor Ratt, but more on that later. Deaf Rat basically features 4/5 of Billion Dollar Babies, and they still have a lot of similarities to that band, which is not a bad thing.
The band members cite influences ranging from Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin to D-A-D and WASP, but the similarity that stands out the most is another Swedish melodic hard rock band – Hardcore Superstar. Their debut album – titled Ban The Light – has that heavy, melodic, just angry enough approach that brings to mind the better HCSS albums. This album has just sounds BIG overall. Big guitar hooks, big punchy choruses, big kick your teeth in rhythms, big energy and Frankie Rich’s big vocals.
Ban The Light is such a fun, high-energy album. As much as I love the ultra-polished and melodic Swedish melodic rock bands, it’s a breath of fresh air to hear a band like Deaf Rat that has some balls and treats melodic hard rock like a bar fight. Get an earful of songs like “Wanted Forever,” “Ban The Light” and “Hail The End Of Days” and tell me you don’t want to get rowdy. The whole album is that good and aside from the slowed-down “Bad Blood,” that rocking.
If you’re looking for no-nonsense hard rock that’s very melodic but packs a heavy punch, Deaf Rat is your band. They’re Swedish sleaze rock without the sleaze, and are a must-hear for fans of Hardcore Superstar, Crashdiet, Pretty Maids and even Airbourne.
Summary: Move over, Hardcore Superstar...