Opening with the one-two punch of “Athena” and “Pill Birth”, Cloud Rat’s self titled debut wastes no time in establishing themselves as a no-holds-barred punk inflected grind act. However, the deeper you get into the album, it becomes obvious that they have more than just one trick up their sleeve. “Le Foie Du Michigan” centers around a riff that would make Eyehategod proud and “Dwell” plays with melodic hardcore, all without sacrificing an ounce of intensity. The biggest surprises of all however, comes in the form of the psychedelic, spoken word of “Yama” which never picks up beyond the speed of your average Isis song, yet still manages to hold your interest. It’s a nice way to break up an intense album and the technique shows up a few more times, proving that this sort of thing is actually a part of the band’s sound and not just throwaway bit. Another ace in the hole for this release is the production, giving each instrument it’s space but also working the wall of noise angle that is essential to any grind band worth their salt. Also, its FUCKING FREE. Your last excuse for not checking these guys out just got kicked down the stairs.