2013 RatScape Preview

Ratscape II is coming up this weekend (July 19-21) at Hour Haus Studios, located on the SE corner of North Avenue and Howard St. Unlike some of the other Baltimore festivals, Ratscape is somewhat of a DIY kind of thing, and most of the bands playing are not well known, although there are some distinct exceptions. As the day wears on,  you will notice the lineup features more established groups that record for known labels.

There are more than 40 bands playing from all genres of music.  Wouldn’t it be nice to have a preview of what every band sounds like? Well I thought I would give it a shot. Some of them were kind of hard (impossible to find). But here’s the best I could do. If I could find a video, it’s posted. Otherwise, enjoy the audio. This is a long post, keep scrolling.

FRIDAY July 19

Friday’s line-up is starts off with rap but then quickly moves into some electronic, contemplative, emo-pop, punk and then psychedelic/doom sounds. It’s a good mix.

Eze Jackson: rap; 2:45 – 3:15pm

Something Complex: electronic, rap and more; 3:30 – 4:00pm

Seaglass: punk, sadcore; 4:15 – 4:45pm

Expert Alterations: minimalist pop, Velvet Underground-y; 5:00 – 5:30pm


The Matrimonials: booze flavored party rock; 5:45 – 6:15

Choke Motel: keyboards instrumental, jazzy/funky; 6:30 – 7pm


Nice Guys: avante punk, no rules; 7:15 – 7:45

The Pleasant Livers: Whartscape veterans, bizarre noisy insanity; 8:00 – 8:30

USSA Pleasuredome: transcendental soundscapes; 8:45 – 9:15

Special People: punk rock; 9:30 – 10:00pm

Shining Mirrors: indie rock; 10:15 – 10:45pm

Raindeer: lush pschedelic pop; 11:00 – 11:30pm

Arbouretum:  awesome folk-tinged doom; 11:45 – 12:15am

The Flying Eyes: psychedelic rock; 12:30 – 1:00am

The Sterling Sisters: Gothic, NeoCountry.  These folks wear cowboy hats and everything. 1:15 – 1:45am

Saturday, July 20th

Saturday starts off with some folk and country inspired bands and then moves into the punk realms.

Dead Whale Ramblers: conscious folk/grass; lots of strings;  2pm – 2:30pm

Blood Horses

Could not find a video but I’ve seen them live. Kind of a early 90s grunge- punk thing going on. Listen. 2:45 – 3:15pm


Et Al: Dreamy indie rock. They have a SoundCloud, too. 3:30 – 4pm


Voodoo Pharmacology: epic melodies, banjos, strings, masculine vocals, creepy lyrical themes; what’s not to like here? 4:15 – 4:45pm

Gutterhooks: psychedelic punk rock recorded lo-fi like early black metal; kvlt pvnx. Listen. 5:00 – 5:30pm


Foghound: stoner rock; 5:45 – 6:15pm

Lazlo Lee: bluesy garage rock; 6:30 – 7pm

Bobby E. Lee & The Sympathizers: I will just use the description they provide — swampy, stompy good timey music; 7:15 – 7:45pm

Wet Brain: almost surf/garage rock. Only videos I could find were embedded in their Facebook page.  You might be able to see this one. 8:00 – 8:30pm

Hollywood: catchy Ramones-esque punk rock with more intelligible vocals. 8:45 – 9:15pm

Listen here.


Ravagers: Punk. Period. 9:30 – 10:00pm

Advlts: progressive punk; is that a thing? Anyway, these guys deliver. 10:15 – 10:45pm

Baklavaa: No, you are not tripping, it’s just Baklavaa. Also, you will never be able to unsee this video .11:00 – 11:30

Christopher Nobody & The Nothing: agressive punk noise with some surprises thrown in. Found a video but nothing on Facebook. 11:45 – 12:15

Slow Jerks: fist pumpin’, sing-a-longin’, crowd participatin’ rock and roll. 12:30 – 1:00am

Hard Dads:  punky power three piece. Here’s a video from somewhere in the Copy Cat building. 1:15am – 1:45am

Sunday, July 21st

If you like metal, then Sunday is probably the day to attend Ratscape. As the day progress, the music becomes darker and heavier and blacker and grindier.

NeverThought: They call themselves nu metal. You decide. 2:pm – 2:30pm

The Last Valorians: modern metal; 2:45 – 3:15pm

Oath: This is a new band. I am told this is stoner/doom something. Come find out. 3:30 – 4:00pm

Pallid: post-rock, ambient/drone; 4:15 – 4:45pm

Phantom Lanterns: post-rock 5:00 – 5:30pm

Mountainwolf: sludgy stoner rock. Check out this live recording on BandCamp. Listen. 5:45 – 6:15pm

Big Mouth: I think the video speaks for itself. 1…2…3…4….!  6:30 – 7:00pm

Nude Mass: this band is new, with members of Slow Jerks/ Lazlo Lee & the MCs. 7:15 – 7:45pm

Urine: also new d-beat noise punk explosion with members of dead peasants/ecco/chaos destroy/endlessbummer. 8:00 – 8:30pm

Sexgender: They call it noise-punk. I’d agree. Most of the videos I found of this band are crap so just listen here. 8:45 – 9:15pm

Barbelith: dark, depressive, atmospheric black metal; 9:30 – 10:00pm

Melungeon: sludgy, experi-mental noise. Could not find a video but you can listen here.  This band shares a member with Whoarfrost, if that gives you any indication of how weird and unpredictable this music is. 10:15 – 10:45pm

Cemetery Piss: angry black metal. Don’t let the SoundCloud link fool you, this is what Cemetery Piss sounds like. Listen. 11:00 – 11:30pm

Rukut: hardcore, grindcore. This video is like samples of a lot of songs but there are not a lot of good videos of this band out there. 11:45 – 12:15pm

Noisem: This death metal band, formerly known as Necropsy this band, is currently signed to A389 Records and recently played the Scion Fest. Also they are all like still in high school or something. 12:30 – 1:00pm

And there you have it, something from every band playing Ratscape. It’s kind of nice to think that Baltimore has this much talent. And also, that this is just a tiny bit of it.

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