Rats Tenera è La Notte LP
Second album from first-wave Italian post-punk outfit RATS, originally slated to come out in 1982 but completely shelved until Spittle’s archival efforts late last year. After their 1981 debut LP C’est Disco, which melded 99 Records-style downtown rhythms and careening art-punk abandon with the ascetic, mechanized throb of Euro minimal wave, RATS picked up a chorus pedal or two and shrouded themselves in a gauzy, soft-goth early 4AD/Factory haze for Tenera E’ La Notte. Vocalist and synthesizer player Claudia Lloyd would leave the band after this record, and the RATS discography that followed (they released new material up to 2013!) took a sharp decline in her absence—her often double-tracked vocals are both ethereal and commanding, bringing a radiant glow to the otherwise standard issue SIOUXSIE/JOY DIVISION signifiers (metronomic bass lines, death-disco drumming, melancholy guitar chime, etc. etc.) in tracks like “Notti Di Mostri” and “Specchiarci.” “La Lancia” has all of the dark and brooding urgency of XMAL DEUTSCHLAND minus the Teutonic severity, and the primitive pop beat of “Una Bella Serata” even comes close to beating the SHOP ASSISTANTS and the PASTELS to their own game by a couple of years. Truly undeservedly unreleased until now, bellissimo!