Dead Cats Dead Rats have found a few musical truths about themselves to be self-evident: they're fast, they're unapologetic, and they're at their best when capitalizing on a combination of the two. The self-labeled grunge-punk trio doesn't try to pigeonhole their sound for the sake of lofty industry ambitions, and they continue to play the kind of rock and roll they fell in love with back when singer-guitarist Matt Reppucci and bassist Chris Wolz were sporting checkered guitar straps in "shitty ska-pop-punk North Shore bands." They don't mess around with other people's gear at shows — they've got no problem sharing their stuff with other bands at any given venue, but playing someone else's guitar or plugging into another person's amp isn't up for discussion. Reppucci changes his strings before every show — "otherwise I break 'em" — and they'd rather spend their time writing or playing live shows than spending a night honing their networking skills via social media or blogging.
Dead Cats Dead Rats are, more or less, a Boston band that's allergic to bullshit — and as they relish the release of their fifth album in three years, this month's No God in Massachusetts, there's something to be said for playing what you want (and how). This no-frills, speedy sensibility is intrinsic to their sound and to their overall productivity. Dead Cats Dead Rats don't pretend to reinvent the wheel when it comes to recording — they favor a straightforward approach: just get in there and barrel through fresh material. The intent to produce a record that mirrors the sounds of their live set remains as vital on their fifth album as their first.
"We're writing new songs while we're in the studio," says Wolz over Buds at the Middle East corner bar. "We don't stop doing that, ever. We'd go nuts. Maybe that's the key. We always keep going, and we never stop writing. I can't write something and just keep playing it. I can't even stand to be in band practice that long."
Talking over the tracks of No God in Massachusetts, Reppucci and Wolz share the same favorites: "Bad News," a revved-up warning to future love interests, and "I Think You Took Too Much," two-and-a-half minutes of straight screaming and accelerating power chords. They've got no immediate plans to tour behind the album, but that's all right, since their Boston fanbase keeps things interesting. "People who come to our shows get pretty rowdy," laughs Wolz, as Reppucci pipes out a few rounds of "DC! DR! DC! DR!. . . . They act like our band is a football/soccer club. They have chants and everything."
DEAD CATS DEAD RATS + IN THE MEANTIME + THE DOWN AND OUTS + TRANSIT GLORIA :: The Middle East, 472 Mass Ave, Cambridge :: November 24 @ 8 pm :: 18+ :: $8 :: 617.864.3278 or mideastclub.com