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Year of the Rat

7 April 2012 No Comment

Year of the Rat

Victoria band Year of the Rat performed on April 13th at the Indie Pop Vancouver Series Vol XXVI along Shot Through the Harp and Lovelust. The address is 1143 Kingsway.

Sam Coll :: Vocals, guitars, keys, unnecessary cardiganisms
Mike Sanderson :: Guitars, b.vox, rocksteadiness, stickers & things
Ryan Stringer :: Bass, b.vox, interesting stories about chimpanzee murder
Tylor McNeil :: Drums, paintings, white T-shirts

What do you sing about when there’s nothing left to talk about? That’s the question that Sam Coll (vocals), Ryan Stringer (bass) and Mike Sanderson (guitar) were asking when, in 2009, the three cerebral misfits happened to connect over craigslist. A few jam sessions later, a lasting musical connection had been made and Year of the Rat was established for good. Clint Plett joined the band soon thereafter, and his steady drumming and pop sensibility guided the band through their first active period, before leaving on good terms in late 2010 to be replaced by the creative and free-spirited Tylor McNeil. In a world where the larger human issues such as politics, spirituality and the implications of modernity are increasingly glossed over or ignored, Year of the Rat seek to engage the minds of their audience; to stimulate the addressing of broad themes while simultaneously giving people an excuse to dance and enjoy themselves. Drawing from a range of musical influences–including Ryan’s love for dance-inspired modern rock (Metric, Muse, U2), Mike’s hard rock, riff-heavy upbringing (System of a Down, Pixies, Rage Against the Machine) and Sam’s new wave and post-punk tastes (Interpol, David Bowie, Joy Division)–the band is not only a rock and roll outfit, but an ongoing musical experiment. Their express intention is not only to keep up with the changing nature of rock, but build upon the work started by contemporary risk-takers such as Arcade Fire, MGMT, La Roux et. al. in continuing the trend of modern music’s pure freedom of expression. 2010 saw the release of Year of the Rat’s first studio output, The Code EP. This six-song offering draws from a smattering of the band’s early writing, and hits hard and fast from the pulsating dance-rock of “Harder Than Knowing” to the heavy-handed, anti-demagogue tirade of “Prey for Deliverance.” The band continue to promote the EP material while they continually write and develop new stuff. Hailing from the westernmost coast of Canada, in the small but vibrant city of Victoria, Year of the Rat consider the entire world their home, and seek to make a lasting impression wherever their music may find an audience.

Trends come and go, but good music is good music. Year of the Rat was founded on the principle that it doesn’t matter what a song’s about, people will get behind it if the artist is willing to give all of himself in the performance. This allows the band, four young but experienced lads from Victoria, BC, to explore a wide array of sometimes bizarre, sometimes fascinating topics in their music, from the corporate hierarchy of metropolitan drug cartels, to the interpolation of the public’s fascination with vampires and its inability to confront its own problems. A thinking man’s band that anybody can dance to. That’s their game.

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