"The 'proper' follow-up to 2010's Songs About Girls, 'the Rat King' finds Elijah Should exploring new themes of alienation, gentrification, homosexuality, hipsters, rent-hikes, drunks, freemasons and hard-core drug use. That is not to say the album suffers from clinical depression or a clouded vision.
"The Church of Good Intentions" is just that, with a refrain of "welcome!" it's a splendid start to a splendid album, until you realize "the church" is really just a bar on the cusp of Chinatown and NY's Lower East Side.
The title track also serves as a surprising centerpiece that features Natalia McCarty (aka the Virgin Whore) on lead vocals. While the song is clearly an angry ode to a cheating boyfriend, the music is sunny and guitar-driven (which is perplexing on a synth-dominated album as such) and reminds me of (dare I say it?) Zwan.
"500 Roses" paints the scene of a sex party in a high-rise on the Upper West Side as if viewed by Stephin Merritt and "Desolation Rowboat" depicts a (seemingly unprovoked) attack with an oar. When Elijah sings "I'm a session player, that's all I know" one must ponder if he is referring to music sessions in a studio or sexual sessions involving crystal meth and handballing... or perhaps something even darker?
the album closes with a punk song that is partly screamed entitled "Halfway Home". In it, Mr. Should laments about working in the kitchen of a halfway house and raising mutts that grow so large he must murder people to supply his dogs with bones to gnaw on.
It's partly "Little Shop of Horrors" and part John Waters. Much like the rest of the album. Which I do believe is the strongest of the trio." B+
- Sweaty Vedder, July 23rd 2014
"Who the fuck is Elijah Should!?" F-
- Piss Cornell
"Piss Cornell was so blown away by Elijah Should's new record, that he told all of his friends about it. Shirt Cobain, Silly Corgan, and Pain Staley." A+
- Logan Hill
"That's not entirely true."
- Piss Cornell
released July 23, 2014
All songs written/performed by Elijah Should
words and music for track 2 by E. Haines/J. Scott-Key/J. Shaw/J.Winstead
4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 12 written by L.Hill/J.Sharp
track 7: words: n.mccarty / music: L.Hill/E.Should
Additional vocals on 1 + 7 by Natalia McCarty
Yamaha, keys and synths on all songs by E.S.
Guitar on 1, 6, 7 and bass on 2, 3, 4, 12 by Jay Sharp
live drums on 4, 6, 8, 10 - 12 by Logan Hill
Bass on 6 by E.S.
Guitar on 4 by Poindexter Twinklebottom
Violin on 11 by E.Claptop
and erhu on 10 - 12
tibetan bell on 5 by Puke Numbskull
Produced by Jay Sharp at the Doghouse for Elijah Should in Brooklyn, New York
with additional engineering by Ethan Michael O'Daniel and Logan Hill in Paducah, KY
Mixed by E.S. except for 1-5 mixed by J.Sharp
Poindexter Twinklebottom appears courtesy of Skip-Stop Records
all rights reserved