British punk quartet Yorkshire Rats originally exploded onto the scene back in 2004 when former Abrasive Wheels and Billy No Mates member Don Mercy made the decision to start a new ensemble with fellow musicians Matt Lee, Josh Clarke and Chris Furness. Two years of tireless touring ensued before the foursome went on an extended hiatus that ended with the arrival of their inaugural album, Sea of Souls, in 2015.
Now they’re getting ready to kickstart the summer by unleashing a brand new self-titled EP on June 16th. The fantastically feisty four track compilation commences with the clamorous riffs of “Alone Together”, which give rise to a delightfully disaffected ambience on the way to the wonderfully riotous refrain of the first verse. The mood remains enthrallingly upbeat and rebellious as the whole thing trots thrillingly towards the enchantingly chirpy guitars and canorous crooning of “Where Do I Sign?”.
“No Way Out” is another engrossingly energetic offering next, made up of a mixture of moving melodies and invigorating music that manages to leave a lasting impression. “Better Days Will Come” takes a more perturbed turn when it’s done, growing gradually in vigour and velocity as it paces pensively in the direction of an endearingly disillusioned stopping point.
The fact that Yorkshire Rats have been heavily influenced by the likes of The Ramones, Social Distortion and Stiff Little Fingers is extremely evident throughout their material here and that is by no means meant as a disparagement. The north England natives have cobbled together a terrifically recalcitrant collection of old-school punk tunes that recall some of the genre’s most iconic acts while simultaneously succeeding in sounding enticingly dexterous and distinct.