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Artist: The Vaseline Rats
Label: Indie
Length: 4 tracks

The Vaseline Rats are a new group hailing from The UK, where they were brought together in 2004 by bassist Pete MZ Emms (whose name has been linked to Metallica and The Darkness). Emms as a songwriter put the band together around him as a vehicle to record and perform new material.

My co-publisher finds that name repulsive and she has a point; however, there is a story behind the name:

From the band's website:
...A question that is asked all the time is "where did you get the name The Vaseline Rats?"

"Well, some years ago after leaving one of my old bands A.N.D. I was going around auditioning for bands and looking for personnel to start a new band. I was struggling for a name of my new band when a couple 'incidents' happened and fate kinda took over. I'd been harassing a couple of management teams in London one of them being Simon Napier Bell and former Deep Purple and Whitesnake manager John Coletta.

"I didn't see John Coletta for a while, but he was more than surprised to see me at a private party I'd used my 'initiative' to get in to. John's words were 'Bloody hell MZ! You can get in to places a vaseline rat couldn't get!' So the name kinda stuck.

"The following day I read an article about the LA rock scene in which a 'journalist' described the lifestyle of rock musicians as no better than 'vermin' in the city. John Coletta's words came back to me and I thought 'yeah, The Vaseline Rats, rock n roll vermin' and so the V-Rats were born!"

And so in spite of a co-publisher's dislike, much like vaseline rats, here they are.

Since 2004 the V-Rats have raised their profile in spectacular fashion as the live "back bone" for a tour of the United States as part of a celebration of 20 years of "New Wave of British Heavy Metal" with Al Atkins (Judas Priest), Jess Cox (Tygers Of Pan Tang) and Dennis Stratton (Iron Maiden, Praying Mantis).

The EP is well-produced and the band's style is heavy with good guitar work. The lyrics are catchy but not exactly memorable. The band is Christian but the lyrics aren't explicit. The first track, "et al," has a slight funk prog-sound to it. "So Over You" has a pretty straightforward heavy rock sound to it as are the rest of the songs; however, the music doesn't have a dated sound. It's modern and up to date. 
Those who like good heavy music and aren't heavily into the lyrics will like this. They've toured with several big name bands which should get them noticed. It will be interesting to see where they go with a full length release. It's available at CDbaby and itunes.

Shari Lloyd 8/28/2007

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