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Artist: The Vaseline Rats
Label: Gull Entertainment
Time: 4 tracks/16:37 minutes

The V-Rats are the brainchild of Pete MZ Emma, who has been a touring bassist for various famous bands such as Judas Priest, Tygers of Pan Tang, and Iron Maiden; as well as fronting his own projects A.N.D. and Hush. The Vaseline Rats are his latest creation, based on an idea he has had for years. Like the aforementioned bands, this is metal, straight up, classically styled.

This four-track EP cleverly titled Epic offers up a groovy, thrashy sound. It is catchy, heavy, and very fun. The influence of the various bands MZ has toured with is palpable. The V-Rats aren't out to break any new ground, they are quite content playing with a classic metal sound, and they do it well. The leads laid down my Mike De Jager are a major drawing point, technically proficient but devoid of unnecessary theatrics. The vocals are also performed well, but the lyrics fall prey to traditional metal clichs.

The quality of the music is consistent throughout, however it is also too derivative to be really special. The band sticks so close to the formula that there is a definite dj vu while listening to this EP. Hopefully the band will take a few risks on their full-length. If so they could deliver something truly magical.

Noah Salo  12/18/2007


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