Somewhere between the lo-fi bedroom pop of Alex G and the classic 90s sound of Pavement lie Melbourne four-piece RAT!hammock, Unassuming but delightfully weird, RAT!hammock mine much- traversed indie rock terrain, but prove that there are still many diamonds to be found in the rough.
Comprised of guitarist & vocalist Jackson Phelan, bass player Michael Cooper, Tom Dowling on guitar and Jack Nicholson on drums, the band first formed in early-2017 and have been slowly honing their sound since then. What they’ve achieved in a year, though, is impressive, with the band quickly carving their name into Melbourne’s notoriously tough-to-crack music scene.
The band’s irresistible single ‘Love You Til I Die’, released in September 2017 and taken from their debut EP Pam, landed plays on triple j, Triple R and PBS FM. The track even caught Unearthed music director Dave Ruby Howe by surprise, writing “I’m sorry if you were unprepared for a band called RAT!hammock to make music as fine as this,” in his four-and-a-half star review.
Fittingly, RAT!hammock’s Pam launch at The Gasometer Upstairs was a sell-out. Despite being a relatively new band, RAT!hammock’s live reputation already precedes them, having played with stalwarts of Melbourne’s live circuit like Tiny Little Houses, Jarrow and The Cactus Channel.
The band started 2018 with a bang, embarking on their first national tour supporting Tiny Little Houses’ for their Idiot Proverbs tour through from February through April, giving interstate fans plenty of opportunities to hear new single ‘Power’.
‘Power’ finds RAT!hammock in full anthem mode, with Phelan’s chorus of “You use your power for good” one of the catchiest the band has ever written.
“The song is an ode to all of those super friends out there that manage to both be absolutely on top of their stuff and find the time to drag along some of their friends who haven’t quite figured it out yet” says Phelan. “I was trying to capture that feeling of gratitude and awe when someone helps you put out a fire or kicks your ass when you need it.” Recorded at Northcote’s Los Bomberos Studios by Sam Swain, ‘Power’ is a good sign that RAT!hammock are set go from strength to strength with their follow up release and tour scheduled for September 2018.