TENEMENT RATS: Pigs & Dogs: 7” EP

Mar 17, 2021

One of the consistently best bands from the L.A./Long Beach/O.C. region. That’s a huge swath of land with many bands, so that statement should instill upon you how great Tenement Rats are. Everyone with ears should be singing their praises, really. Take a bit of mid-to-late ’70s U.K. punk and run it through the O.C./Long Beach mixer and you get something akin to these guys. The songs are catchy as hell and forever moving forward at a decent pace. I love that guitar tone and Jonny Watkins has some of the best vocal delivery—it’s throaty and direct, with occasional howls and whoops to give it extra character. The title track has an oi-style riff on par with the Cockney Rejects, but rather than tread down that tired path, these guys cut their own trail and fare better for it. “Bite the Draino” is a mid-tempo song with a catchy bass line. You get five burners here, and they send you off with “I Choose Death,” the ultimate in statements. That guitar at the end as it climbs up and up is perfect. More! More! More! –Matt Average (Sex Tape, sextaperecords.com)