Rational Animals – Bock Rock Parade LP (Katorga Works)

Heavy, Flag-style hardcore (side 1 of My War would be a good ref point) from Rochester, NY with a lead guitarist who cribs as much from Tom Hazelmyer as he does from Greg Ginn. Will Machi plays the geometrical Flag patterns while dropping in some serious wheedlin’ for an experience that enlivens the whole of the band. Rational Animals almost live and die on Machi’s presence, and from what friends who’ve seen them more than I have explained, they spent a while woodshedding to the point where they could lock in to this approach without sounding malformed or difficult. This seems to have paid off, Bock Rock Parade being an audacious rearrangement of past mastery in a way that sounds new yet doesn’t smell like musty old records and people talking with authority about a past you might not have experienced firsthand. Rips hard and often. Don’t be denied. (
(Doug Mosurock)