The Good Rats s/t
The Good Rats s/t LP (Kapp, 1969)
We Are the Good Rats, the band’s theme song, opens up “RAAAATS!!!” and then blasts into something that sounds like Edwin Starr meets Queen....Really.
And through nine more songs the Good Rats play some of the best hard rock ever recorded. Listen to this album and you’ll find yourself thinking, “Hmmm that sounds like Alice Cooper, Kiss, Sweet, Dictators, Cheap Trick, Pink Fairies, etc.” and then you realize that this was recorded before all that stuff!
From singer/songwriter Peppi Marchello, who used to swing a baseball bat on stage, to the nameless drummer, this band is the tops. Tight as hell with an R&B groove but with all the bombast you would expect from a punk band, these guys push every one of their songs to its extreme. Ohh yeah, the songs are smart, too. A record this good should have made them a legend. Instead they remain a cult band.
So who are the Good Rats? Well, in short, they are a Long Island based band that formed around 1967 as the U Men. They released this debut on Kapp, were dropped from the label, got signed to Warners and did a record in 1974. A few years later they did another and another and a few more. They still are around, Peppi Marchello being the only original member. The current line up contains his two sons on guitar and drums. And, from what I gather, they still rock hard. (If you want more info, check out Rocktober 31 for a great article by Jake Austen).
The Good Rats is a great record, a classic. It is one of those records that makes me wonder what life would be like if I’d have heard this at 13. I know one thing for sure, it would have saved me from tolerating all the dog crap classic rock getting thrown at me. As it was, it took the Sex Pistols to do that, and I was 15 when I first heard them. The Good Rats would have saved a few brain cells. Long live The Good Rats!
I'm always amazed that when you think you have uncovered every obscurity from the 60's and early 70's, there are still nuggets like this one lying around that virtually no one talks about, until now.
By the way, Scott, thanks for the Leather Nun lead. I bought a copy on ebay and unwound with it whilst wife and kids were out of the house.
I didn't see any Good Rats but Monster Records might be a good place to look:
Or if you're looking for some Juan De La Cruz...