MESSAGE TO THE RAT KING: Self-titled: CS

Noisy, damaged, and strange, but at its roots, still very pop-based. Songs like “Lagos” and “Christiania” sound like The Cure and The Faint and a printing press all a-tumble in a spitting match. It’s dark, atmospheric, and effective. There are times when they veer a bit too far into the shifting and shadowy world of, you know, pure noise, and that’s when I start to lose interest personally, but there are a number of very alluring songs on here. A nice surprise. Whoever is putting these songs together have a unique vision, and it’s cool. –Keith Rosson (Necrosignatures Occult Library)