ALBUM REVIEW: Cloud Rat – Pollinator

Cloud Rat has something to say, and if you’re not willing to lend an ear they’re just going to play louder and faster until they get your attention. No, there are rarely any moments that allow for you to catch your breath on Pollinator (Artoffact Records) so know from the rip that these Michiganders intend to keep your head submerged in gray waters for about thirty minutes.

I did notice immediately that Cloud Rat’s sound has less in common with Brutal Truth or Pig Destroyer on the Grindcore scale since their cacophony has more in common with the noise typically associated with Converge or Graf Orlock. ‘The Mad’ features one of the few slow moments on Pollinator but its escalating buildup and the blistering riffs that follow are for sure inspired by Converge ragers like the ones found on Jane Doe or Axe to Fall. This Hardcore first approach is all over the varying tempos and chunky riffage of ‘Al Di La’ and ‘Losing Weight.’ And while on the Converge tip, drummer Brandon Hill’s multi-faceted and brisk attack on ‘Night Song’ and ‘Wonder’ are comparable to those of stickman extraordinaire Ben Koller.

Some, we’ll refer to them as cowards, may want to take issue with Cloud Rat’s blitzkrieg attack and rare deviation from the task at hand, but it’s exactly what I expect and maybe even need from a Grind/Crust release in the year 2019. The world is borderline shit, so therefore young people will have vitriolic art to put up for display as a direct response. If I had to point out a standout issue is that I’d cut back a bit in overall tracks and flesh out the best ones by a minute or so for maximum sonic impact.

Listen to your youth, people. They too have something to say.

7 / 10

HANS LOPEZ