MP3 Review
by PH

I could be cruel and say that I can see why Ratfinkel have split up, but I’m not going to. I won’t, however, pretend that the three tracks they offer at http://www.purevolume.com/ratfinkel are perfect. But they do demonstrate some potential, most notably in the lyrics. The vocal on ‘Why do we Have to Die’ has an innocent fragility that, despite being a bit too fragile in places, creates a helpless atmosphere to the song which, I think, is what they were aiming at. And it’s nice - for a bit. Then the weaknesses of the band starts to become more evident. There’s some good melodic guitar work but it’s all a bit too simple and the slow, basic bass and drums accompaniment starts to wear you down after a while. It’s not bad, but could really benefit from a bit of time spent adding some more depth and atmosphere to the song. Sadly, the innocent, fragile vocal that was the main appeal of the first song, is the most immediate downfall of the other two. ‘By My Side’ again shows some promise with its lyrics, but the vocal is flat, emotionless and quite a long way from where it needs to be. There is only ever a basic melody and it’s not helped at all by the poor mixing of the recording. The final offering, ‘You Stood and Watched’, unfortunately highlights the main problems Ratfinkel have – weak, lifeless vocals and a directionless sound that could do with a large injection of confidence. And I think that’s one of the main problems they have – it’s like they’re holding back, almost apologising for trying to do whatever it is they’re trying to do. If Ratfinkel were still together I probably wouldn’t rush out to see them live, but I’ll still be interested to see what they do from here. Especially whoever was writing the lyrics.