I heard the song “The Rat” on KEXP Seattle in July 2019. It’s a high-energy, post-punk indie piece, and I think it’s a great song though I haven’t been able to figure out a meaning for it. After the opening with its urgent guitar chords, drummer Matt Barrick does a smashing job on the kit, laying down the fast beat that carries the song through four and a half minutes.
I don’t know anything about the band except what I read today; they formed in 2000 and have been inactive since 2014. YouTube videos show that they performed today’s song on the David Letterman and Conan O’Brien late-night shows. The band also played some big festivals like Glastonbury. The videos of the song are all of varying quality, and there’s no official video on the band’s YouTube channel, just audio, and this is a song that begs to be seen played live.
(Wikipedia says that filmmaker Eva Aridjis directed the video for this song. I found what I believe is that video; it’s black and white, and the set is the same as that used in a still photo for the official audio promoting the song, which was the first single from the album Bows + Arrows (2004), so it seems it must be the “official” video. But I’m not sure the style of filming best matched the song.)
Now you know a little about why this is my song of the day for today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy.
(For what I think is the best video of a live performance, go to this excerpt from a broadcast of Late Night with Conan O’Brien. The sound is only 240p, but is still clear.)
Here is the official audio from The Watchmen’s Youtube channel: