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The Ratchets - Heart Of Town (Cover Artwork)

The Ratchets

The Ratchets: Heart Of TownHeart Of Town (2005)
Pirate's Press Records

Reviewer Rating: 4


Contributed by: RonenKauffmanRonen Kauffman
(others by this writer | submit your own)

For younger fans who haven't yet unearthed some of punk rock's most celebrated classics, Heart Of Town might be something of a curveball. The echo of the 70's punk canon -- bastardized and/or buried by most bands associating themselves with "punk music" -- has eroded almost beyond recognition. For t.
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For younger fans who haven't yet unearthed some of punk rock's most celebrated classics, Heart Of Town might be something of a curveball. The echo of the 70's punk canon -- bastardized and/or buried by most bands associating themselves with "punk music" -- has eroded almost beyond recognition. For the most part, that's how it should be; sounds are supposed to evolve. Things are supposed to change.

But it's becoming increasingly difficult to cut through the sea of shitty bands. So while the Ratchets will find comparisons to the Clash hard to avoid or dispute, maybe that's not a bad thing. After all, we've got plenty of pop-punk bands singing about girls, and plenty of modern mosh / nü-metal dressed up to resemble something more authentic -- and so many times, these bands are impotent, vacant, and totally disposable. So if the next big sound gives birth to so much useless music, maybe looking back in time is worthwhile. It's not like we're overwhelmed with mature, roots-rock-reggae-influenced bands in 2005.

With all Clash comparisons set safely to the side, an objective look at Heart Of Town reveals an incredibly catchy and extremely memorable EP. There is something inherently smooth about the Ratchets, a genuine feel the band has for the music they are playing that makes you want to listen to the same songs over and over. And the Ratchets' understated deftness in blending surf and reggae into their rock songs is really quite impressive. Maybe it's because so many bands have tried to do this and failed miserably, but then that's even more reason to pay attention. Either way, the raspy, yet tuneful vocals, the well-placed guitar leads, the storytelling implicit in both the arrangements and vocals: It all makes for a great offering. Heart Of Town is at once airy and electric, anthemic and cynical, raw and polished.

Both the writing and recording of this EP reveal a focus that most bands never even graze. What makes this so interesting is that Heart Of Town is the Ratchets' first proper release. Maybe this was foretold; their demo was met with both fan and critical acclaim, recorded after three practices.

The Ratchets are taking something vaguely old and making it into something vaguely new. What would one call that -- timelessness? Either way, "Iraqi Vice" (track 2) is a hit.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
waytansea (July 31, 2006)

Enter to win a signed poster of the ratchets at punkshit.org

hurray! the contest ends on aughust 14th, 2006!

punkshit.org

Anonymous (July 27, 2005)

Krap Zaplan is one of this country's finest songwriters..
and he should sing on more of the tunes..

Anonymous (July 25, 2005)

there are so many damn punk bands that so like old punk bands, good punk bands, shitty punk bands,........bands that sound like social d, bad religion, ramones, blah blah blah.....some how that's o.k. but not o.k. if you sound like the clash.....the ratchets are one of the few bands that are clearly influenced by the clash that do it successfully.....

rkl (July 24, 2005)

The Ratchets - Heart Of Town
Posted by Anonymous on 2005-07-22 15:24:45

Lets just say this band blatantly rips off the Clash at every turn. They sound nearly exactly like them. If you like that idea, you will like this band. If you dont like that idea, you wont like this band.

i dont like the clash very much, aside from "rudie can't fail," but i enjoy the hell out of the ratchets.

head. explodes. now.

Anonymous (July 24, 2005)

there aint much point in covering the same ground that the clash did, since you arent gonna top them.

Anonymous (July 23, 2005)

this band has figured out how to make all those rock-roots-regaee infulences work while continuing to put on an amazing performace everytime i see them. they have catchy songs with a fresh sound and all of the members are on their game as far as rocking out.

the nj scene needs to get out off it's whiney ass and realize that there is more to music than the crap that is replicated over and over again at every vfw and small club around!

Anonymous (July 23, 2005)

If you listen to the CD backwards you can hear Zak admit that he voted for Bob Dole.

Anonymous (July 23, 2005)

the ratchets will never get famous and you know why when you hear this album.

Anonymous (July 23, 2005)

Worthless united was so much better.

Anonymous (July 22, 2005)

"Better than anything the Bouncing Souls or any other shitty New Jersey bands have put out in over 10 years."

Is that so? I guess that shitty New Jersey band 'Lifetime' or whatever the fuck they called themselves didn't put out a single good record after 'Background' then, right?

Anonymous (July 22, 2005)

this is one of the best things i've heard in a long time. seriously awesome live too. good guys as well. but who cares what anyone says. this is the internet, not real life fagz.
cm

Anonymous (July 22, 2005)

listen up!

Anonymous (July 22, 2005)

woah. someone is a hater. knows nothing about music? his band is awesome! you're silly.

Anonymous (July 22, 2005)

Setting aside the fact that this review was written by a total band whore who knows nothing about music and claims that Pearl Jam "saved his life" in 1992, AND has a fucking broken barcode tattoo on his wrist, this record is actually good, really good. Better than anything the Bouncing Souls or any other shitty New Jersey bands have put out in over 10 years. If you buy this EP, you'll probably be able to sell it on the internet in 4 years when The Ratchets are on tour with Green Day.

Anonymous (July 22, 2005)

i love but i was left wanting more......more songs that is. i think it's a brilliant album.

pastepunk (July 22, 2005)

This EP is perfect for setting up a good mood and not worrying about anything at all...

Anonymous (July 22, 2005)

Lets just say this band blatantly rips off the Clash at every turn. They sound nearly exactly like them. If you like that idea, you will like this band. If you dont like that idea, you wont like this band.

Anonymous (July 22, 2005)

band: www.theratchets.com
label: www.hellbentrecords.com

good stuff!

Anonymous (July 22, 2005)

is underselling the Clash comparison good or bad?

Anonymous (July 22, 2005)

too many stars attributed to too many albums.

Anonymous (July 22, 2005)

kick ass art

Anonymous (July 22, 2005)

I didn't think it was possible, but you actually undersold the Clash comparison.

Agreed x10.

TheOneTrueBill (July 22, 2005)

I didn't think it was possible, but you actually undersold the Clash comparison.

andrew13 (July 22, 2005)

they played tonight with strike anywhere.. they were ok... that's about it..

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