The Damned’s frontman comes out with a solo album on which he covers the show tune “42d Street” as an instrumental, leads off with an aggressive single, and includes spoken word cuts, multiple experimental sound collages, and an “Opus” that could have been written for Sweeney Todd. This is an eclectic album, to say the least. One would expect that Rat Scabies could release something weird–but is it good?

The answer is “yes.” But. You probably won’t want to listen to it all the time. Because it is weird as Hell and demands your full attention. And that’s not a bad thing.

Track for track, it’s impossible to know where he’s going next. Lyrically dense songs are separated by instrumental tracks that, in some cases (like “Shivers”), seem to be begging for lyrics that will never come. You’ll sit, listen, wait, but then the next song will come on and you’ll be moving on to something completely different.

Scabies was the drummer for the seminal punk band The Damned, but on this album he does just about everything–except for vocals by Jesse Budd and bass by Nick Oblivion. He’s described this album as containing compositions he’s written over the years, including back to his days with The Damned. It definitely feels like a labor of love.

And to be clear: It gets my recommendation. It’s a good listen from start to finish, and I have found myself returning to it several times since.

Key tracks: Floydian Slip (which sounds like a punk tribute to Echoes-era Pink Floyd), Sing Sing Sing (a reinterpretation of the show tune 42d Street, but without lyrics, which makes the title of the song so brilliantly ironic), and the quiet closer,s “Glad You Could Make It” and “Feels Like Sunday.”

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