SexRat – Masters of Obscurity
1.) Hangin On
2.) Vapor Trails
3.) Made in China (Feat. Bud & Nicole Gaugh)
4.) The Good Life
6.) Hot Shower
7.) Apothicary (Feat. Bud Gaugh)
8.) She’s 18
9.) Walk of Shame
10.) That’s Country
11.) Drug Dealer
12.) Come to Vienna (Feat. Bud Gaugh)
The Pier Album Rating:
Release Date: August 2nd, 2012
Record Label: Half of Nothing Records
Official Website: SexRat’s Website
Since the band’s formation in 2005, SexRat has released one self-titled studio album in 2007 and one digital sampler titled HONR, released in 2010, both editions coming by way of the band’s own record label, Half of Nothing Records. With the trio of Zach “Zippy” Goodin (guitar/vocals), Devin Hurley (drums/vocals/keys) and Marc Kallweit (bass/vocals), calling the California capital city of Sacramento home, the styles that SexRat brings to the forefront are more of the psychedelic rock rather than the typical surf rock, pure reggae sound notably featured on The Pier.
Masters of Obscurity is the second full-length album from SexRat, and the band featured a few aces from the deck of cards with Bud Gaugh (Sublime/LBDAs/SWR/Del Mar), Bud’s wife Nicole (Del Mar) and famed studio engineer, Sylvia Massy, most known for her work with the band Tool’s debut record Undertow and System of a Down’s debut album, to produce the new SexRat album.
Masters of Obscurity begins with almost a Mike Tyson knockout punch with the track “Hangin On”. After over a minute of mysterious, close to silent introduction, the three-piece onslaught reigns down with punk rock/classic rock infused guitar riffs and a driving force on the drum kit. The lyrics throughout the album, beginning on the album opener, are awfully self-analyzing and look deep within contemplation.
The album title for SexRat’s third effort is a fitting one, as the lyrics mix with the instrumentals within the songs ranging from classic rock of the likes of the 1960s and 70s with almost unending guitar solos, mashing up with a surf rock style and bridging close to the metal genre. On the other hand, Masters of Obscurity also shows off SexRat’s softer underbelly with gentle acoustic guitars and pianos featured on “The Good Life”, “Grudge” and the song “Drug Dealer”.
Although the music flowing through the speakers appeared effortless from the band members, the lyricism was scattered and left this listener wondering where the album was headed. Not every album needs a specific theme to roll with and utilize as a navigator, but with each track’s beginning and ending the listener might feel as though he or she ran a full marathon with obscure experiences and interpretations coming from all corners of the earth.
A prime example is the track “Made in China”. The lyrics speak to the cultural changes within production of mass goods today and the future, and the guitar licks shadow that same sentiment for over six-minutes. SexRat is definitely a jam band, but the lyrics did leave something to be desired.
Without a doubt, this album is not your ordinary reggae-rock album, and within the making of it, that was not SexRat’s intention, at all. It felt like an album suited more for a bad trip than a feel good California summer day. After all, SexRat’s influences stem more from the psychedelic rock genre than any other sector of music.
Written & Reviewed By: Kris Siuta
[Editors Note: All reviews are reflective of the album in it's entirety, from start to finish. These reviews are the honest opinion of each writer/reviewer, expressing their feedback as a genuine fan of the music. Each star rating reflects their review of the album, not the band. Music is subjective. Regardless of the review or star rating, we encourage you to listen to the music yourself & form your own opinion. Spread the awareness of all music in its art & contribution]