The Rascals

Have opted for a challenging path of late

Working to the archetypically Liverpudlian mantra of subverting expected convention, The Rascals have opted for a challenging path of late. Originally three fifths of The Little Flames, Miles (Kane, guitar/vocals), Greg (Mighall, drums) and Joe (Edwards, bass) occupied the crest of an impending cultural wave. However on the inside artistic differences were mounting and as the wildly anticipated debut LP rolled hotly of the press the band fell apart; “things changed, as you get older you realise you can go off in whatever direction you please,” offers Miles reflectively.

Whatever direction they please surmises The Rascals’ current genre-defying sound. Incorporating everything from heavy metal to baroque pop, they have weaved an ornate tapestry of psychedelic paradoxes that assaults your ears with an aching originality. Operating to a raw, punkish aesthetic they have crafted a sound of raucous potential placing emphasis on urgent, direct song structures.

“With a handful of new tracks raising temperatures and a songbook brimming with perpetually evolving melodies the future looks bright.”

Speaking to The Rascals they appear impassively blasé, the height of detached cool. After listening to their live performances and recordings thus far their arrogance is clearly justified. With a handful of new tracks raising temperatures and a songbook brimming with perpetually evolving melodies the future looks bright. Adopting a lefty ideology typical of their hometown, a democratic approach has been taken to composing. Disparate ideas and influences are melded to create a finished product incorporating references as polarised as Scott Walker and Queens Of The Stone Age. Joe explains their disdain for restricting oneself to a specific genre: “If you’re just into the heavy stuff, you’re shit, and if you’re just into Scott Walker, the same, you’re completely consumed by their world.”

On their current material diversity holds court: the echoed guitar intro of ‘Is It Too Late’ develops into a frantic call to arms; all duelling guitars and bitterly spat vocals powered by a driving rhythm section, blinkers removed cynicism and contemptible angst. On ‘Out Of Dreams’ the lyrics conjure whimsical imagery evocative of Syd Barrett. Surreal lyrics are wrapped around an elastic bassline en-route to a tense climax that, akin to an arrested orgasm, just stops dead.

Sartorially a sharp Mod sensibility is projected that is perfectly aligned with their sound. Looking like extras from Quadrophenia as they loiter backstage in their mod regalia, they recall Sixties heroes The Small Faces. Ironically they’re even the same height. As the interview draws to a close a definite aura of togetherness comes to mind; all sharp banter, finishing each other’s sentences and insular nods. I lose count of the amount of times I think they are ripping me. This vibe is present when they take to the stage, they have the northern charm and the anthemic swagger of Arctic Monkeys, who they have played with on several occasions; “we like them and they like us, we’re all mates, we have a laugh.” This invincible confidence, when combined with their musical promise, has the potential to secure The Rascals a place in the big league of British Indie. With their unique blend of “surreal weirdness with a more populist edge” they have the potential to be the kind of band that boys want to be and girls want to fuck. However an arduous road prevails in the meantime. With live dates across the country and an EP out in September the opportunity is theirs for the taking. Provided they don’t self-combust.

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