The single “No Love Lost” from the EP “Minor Arcana” hits like a lightning bolt and branches out in multiple directions, allowing the Tarot Rats to cover a little bit of everything that gives them their distinctive, blues-rock based sound. No flashy costumes, no over-the-top pyrotechnics, no high wire acts, no legions of back up dancers…just them and their music. Tarot Rats are set to become an icon in their genre. Each piece of the song is crafted to fit together seamlessly, with no dissonance or flooding of the track.
The lyrics are probably one of Tarot Rats’ strong points and the lead singer Tim Hill puts the entirety of his soul behind every syllable. Johnny Hammond on guitar keeps the dynamics of the song variable, while bassist Ian Wheeler makes sure everything rocks together steadily. The raw emotion, tension and tempo changes that I’ve come to love more than anything else in the genre, is all here in cutting edge abundance.
This isn’t the languorous, sometimes muddy rock of yore. “No Love Lost” is tight, energetic, and rough around the edges – in a good way. While bands most successful rock bands today are apparently content to root around the confines of an ice-cold studio soundscape, Tarot Rats sounds like a band that enjoys performing to a live audience or jamming in a garage, but with excellent production that allows Hill’s voice to come through clearly over the mix.
It’s timeless rock, with a blues mentality that retains indelible soulfulness. It owes no allegiance to current trends or styles. Often this is a good thing, and the Tarot Rats makes it work here, with impressive effortlessness.
Theirs is a coherent rock statement such as few modern rock bands before have attempted, let alone accomplished. The Tarot Rats ranks among the best bands I have heard in the genre during the last few years, and I can hardly wait to hear their official full-length debut album set for a summer 2017 release.
The original Kent, UK based band, formed by Johnny Hammond and Ian Wheeler found its influences in the legendary bands like Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Deep Purple and many more.
Their sound has continued to evolve with the contribution of lead singer Tim Hill’s background of blues, soul and jazz, while new arrivals, guitarist Chris Sansom and drummer Steve Fisher, add their hard rock expertise, allowing the band more diversity. A curiosity – the band also did a tribute to David Bowie celebrating his 70th birthday with a performance of his song, “The Man Who Sold The World”.