Bilge Rat Bilge Rat emerged from a basic need, the urge towards honesty and self-expression that motivates all successful art ventures. They’re the kind of band that loves to fish, paint, and solder as much as it loves to blast riffs in a cramped basement. Hailing from New Haven, CT, the self-described “Chamber Grunge” band keeps a commitment to inventiveness, dynamic contrast, and lyrical mysticism all while maintaining powerful straightforwardness. Guitarist/Vocalist Michael Kusek has a way of playing that “makes it look easy” as he tiptoes over his pedal board while executing precision passages. Drummer Quinn Pirie rumbles and jitters in a jazz-influenced manner that befits his often paint-splattered clothes. Bassist Michael Hammond thickens the mixture with a profound depth of playing that is at once both foundational and ornamental. The combined sound is hard-edged, thick-skinned, and melodious all at once, recalling some of the best bands from Dischord’s 90s roster, as well as some of the hard-riffing heroes of todays underground DIY circuit. Their new record, “Pal”, brings it all into focus: recorded in just 4 days, the songs walk a razor’s edge between discontent and camaraderie, drenched in fuzz and chorus effects, a bed of nails for Kusek to lay his poetics upon. This record is their third release following a self-titled full length last year and debut EP, Townie Garbage, in 2015. Pal will be out August 3rd on cassette and digital via Bee Side Cassettes.