Text: Laura Rosierse
The Dutch musical heroes that are known as Rats On Rafts are finally back with their long awaited new album ‘Excerpts From Chapter 3: The Mind Runs A Net Of Rabbit Paths’. The album was released on the bands’ own label Kurious Recordings and showcases both far ends of their musical spectrum. Rats On Rafts is a refined taste for lovers of albums and well rounded musical stories, not for those that listen to separate singles.
The band starts their album with a prologue that is thrilling and exciting yet after nearly half a minute becomes somewhat repetitive. When ‘A Trail Of Wind And Fire’ hits, the vocals join in and together they form the recognisable alternative rock sound we have become familiar with when listening to Rats On Rafts. The Rotterdam-based four piece have created a 45 minute long dramatic alternative piece that is grand and thumping and at all times surprising. There is no way ‘Excerpts From Chapter 3: The Mind Runs A Net Of Rabbit Paths’ can be listened to while on shuffle mode, it is a story with a beginning, a middle and an end and has to be listened to in its entirety to be able to capture the full magic of this creative masterpiece.
The album was recorded completely analogously in the band’s own Kurious Recording Studio, with a little help from Niek van den Driesschen, and talks of the search for imperfection. After the release of ‘Tape Hiss’ in 2015 the band toured Japan with Franz Ferdinand and got lost between dreams and reality, which they talk about on ‘Where Is My Dream?’. Their new and third album is a grown up version of the bands’ previous releases and shares their stories, experiences and emotions of the past few years. There is more energy, more persuasiveness and a hint of “don’t take everything so seriously”. While ‘Another Year’ sounds like a speech that should have been made by a new world leader, ‘The Disappearance of Dr. Duplicate’ would have been the perfect soundtrack for a chase scene in an action film.
‘Excerpts From Chapter 3’ is an ever changing album that evolves with every listen and exposes new details every other minute. No stone was left unturned and every rough and dark corner was inspected while making this reverb-drenched psychedelic rock play. So even though it took Rats On Rafts more than a few years to create this album, that long period of time made their sound lose no relevance at all and gives the bands’ fans exactly what they have craved for all these years.