From the overtly beaten and shrouded in blood cover art to the frequent shouts disguised as lyrics, Rat Cage furiously scurries up the leg and into the main heart valves where cardiac arrest is sure to follow. This brain death is illustrated from the opening track where “Intro (Screams From The Cage)” is just that, a rampaging shout fest into the void of garage-style basement punk rock where any rules set are immediately destroyed in the following motion.
The following track, “A Country For Idiots,” while beautifully titled, is a direct mosh pit inducing influence where the percussion is this driving force for the strings to attach onto. As the instruments essentially leech off of each other and become etched into the mind of the listener, the vocals are a swift curb stomp with shit-kickers. Tracks here on Screams From The Cage are expressive and layered as much as a punk record could be. The breaks are few and far between and orchestrate this totalitarian fist that overpowers and pulverizes the listener at every chance.
Where blades are thrusted is through the 19 minutes of Earth-shattering relentlessness on tracks like “Snake Oil” or “I Don’t Wanna Listen” where mercy is nowhere to be found. Somehow, between the moments where Rat Cage is driving nails into the audience, the message is energetic and thrives in the chaos. While the pure noise might be hard to follow in the first few spins through the entire record, When Screams From The Cage becomes familiar is how each track takes little time to transition. Instead, the space where tracks stop is usually filled to the brim similar to a fully automatic machine gun.
Even the shortest tracks, both “Vanity Game, Pt. 1” and “Vanity Game, Pt. 2,” strike reminiscent notes to Negative Approach and how tracks like “Pressure” are able to be shorted, but heightened senses of protest. Through less than 10 seconds, both tracks are train wrecks that dissipate as quickly as they first crash.
So when the Year Of The Rat finally rears its snitch-like head scrounging for any source of nourishment, Rat Cage is sudden to stomp and destroy. Where Screams From The Cage shines is in the ability to sucker punch and dash to no doubt, claim another victim as time progresses.