Bandcamp page. I clicked play, and my jaw dropped almost instantly. I just love it when music totally wows me! If we actually lived in a world where the best songs were the most popular, "Rock & Roll Friend" would be the #1 pop hit of the summer.
Patsy's Rats are a self-described "pop rock and roll" band led by Portland indie fixtures Patsy Gelb (daughter of Giant Sand's Howe Gelb) and Christian Blunda (Mean Jeans). The foursome's debut EP will be released on vinyl by La-Ti-Da Records later this summer. The digital version is available now and well worth your hard-earned cash. "Rock & Roll Friend" was written for Mikey Hodges (Pop Zeus, Boom!, the Memories), who tragically passed away in a motor vehicle accident last year. This loving tribute truly captures the mixed emotions of such a devastating loss. There's unbearable sadness - but also great joy in having had the privilege of knowing an extraordinary human being. Given whom it's about, it's fitting that "Rock & Roll Friend" is as fun and life-affirming as a pop song can be. No doubt, this is a tune Hodges would have loved. It's just perfect pop - replete with a hook that no sentient being could possibly resist. Reminiscent of the synth-driven new wave pop of the late '70s/early '80s, this song is a throwback to a golden age of radio hits. It ought to be blaring from poolside stereos, car speakers, and ballpark PA systems all over the land this summer. Prepare to wear out your repeat button!
While "Rock & Roll Friend" is clearly "the hit", this is an outstanding EP all the way through. "It's Gonna Hurt" and "Hard Time Karen" are excellent cuts of power pop meets new wave meets indie/alternative. Both songs come on slowly and build up to choruses that totally knock my socks off. This is definitely a band with a flair for hooks that stick with you. Going forward, I think Patsy's Rats might be the next big thing in power pop. If you enjoy terrific pop that's just different enough to stand out from the pack, this is a group that needs to be on your radar. Greg, the check's in the mail!