Angel Rat

And this is where the VoiVod fan base united as one to proudly shout, "What the fuck?" Yeah, this was certainly a different beast...even given the melodic leanings of 'Nothingface', it's safe to say that no one expected the band that produced 'War and Pain' to end up doing poppy-punky songs like "The Prow", which incidentally has a melody that sounds horribly similar to the music on those Mentos commercials. But this was still VoiVod, after all, so we gave it a (cue whistle) little patience, yeah yeah, and it paid off. Today, many 'Vod fans (myself included) regard 'Angel Rat' as one of their most interesting efforts. It's their most melodic and accessible release, and yet it's also their most bizarre. And it's the sassiest. The dichotomy here is that although the songs seem to be geared for marketing success, upon repeated listens one realizes that the old VoiVod tradition of being a bunch of sick-ass Canadian weirdos is in full force. "Twin Dummy" is a good example: catchy riff; nice, seemingly vapid lyrics; and it's almost the perfect length for radio. And yet there's an element here, something you can't grasp, that keeps any of the music on 'Angel Rat' from being as personable as pop must be. This band has always emphasized division from the listener just by virtue of their own hermetic absorption in the technologically arcane (diagram that!), but 'Angel Rat' is...let's put it this way, if you gave the Beach Boys a lot of peyote and locked them in a padded cell for fourteen hours with a bunch of owls, the muffled screams you'd hear might be half as sweet and creepy as the songs on 'Angel Rat'. Simile-ly speaking, this album is the creaking of giant sharp machines in the Sweet Tarts factory...the dark hopelessness behind the saccharine front. You can't mosh to it, but you'll probably be too busy melting to notice...

1999 craig