Friday, October 29th, 2021

Pillow Queens – Rats

Pillow Queens with “Rats”? We love it!


Leah Isobel: Holy shit.

Vikram Joseph: “Rats” is a re-recorded release that predates the material from In Waiting, and that makes sense when you hear them side-by-side. It’s a little less refined — less brooding alt-rock and more seething bar-punk — but god it’s a lot of fun. Rendering the raucous, barrelling 6/8 patterns of Irish folk in the ringing arpeggios of modern punk-pop is an inspired choice; it sounds like a queer ceilidh at a Triple Crown Records party, which is obviously something I would attend. It’s a song about tumultuous, regrettable sex that captures both tumult and regret, and also has the most exquisite delivery of the word “horny” you’re ever likely to hear. Pillow Queens are expanding their horizons in exactly the way you’d hope they would, but this is a tremendous blast of sordid joy and we should celebrate it.

Aaron Bergstrom: Ragged, shout-along brilliance from a band whose unassuming charm (their first show was a benefit for a dog rescue, they had to be talked out of singing with fake Shania Twain accents) risks overshadowing their elite songwriting chops. There are at least three different hooks packed in here that a lesser band might have spun out into separate, weaker songs. If, like me, you have been suffering from severe Covid Concert Withdrawal, I suggest playing this at an irresponsible volume on the best speakers you have access to.

Claire Biddles: I’ve liked some Pillow Queens songs before, but I can’t get fully on board for “Rats”, which sounds too much like an also-ran ~anthemic~ set-closer by a mid-afternoon festival band. The only singular thing here is Sarah Corcoran’s vocal. “Got hands in your heart/And hearts in your hallway” is a wonderful couplet, though.

Kalani Leblanc: Finally, a Kings of Leon song for us ladies! This is the kind of thing you listen to at 16 when you don’t know any better, your favorite artist is Phoebe Bridgers, and you think you have mom/dad issues. If you walk into a club with a black X on your hand, then I can recommend this song to you. 

Ian Mathers: Not at all surprised they have a recording of the crowd absolutely giving it one to this song. Not only is “Rats” just about as briskly, roughly joyful as any song with “you’re hating yourself” as one of its refrains ought to be, it is from stem to stern invigorating enough to make it feel like playing rock music is actually a great use of your time even in the year of our lord 2021. Not not enhanced by an Irish accent so thick that I’m unsure I could cut it with the proverbial knife.

Mark Sinker: Well I’m very English so this is just how I hear it, but the most thrillingly charged thing in this song to me — honestly the centre of the weight of its gleeful allure — is simply the torque on the accent. Which I could genuinely only unpick by reading, and of course even then the words are as oblique as the music is direct. Because of course it’s about things hidden and things not hidden, and who they’re hidden from, or, well, not. And it’s about how this matters and how it maybe suddenly doesn’t matter sometimes.

Reader average: [5] (1 vote)

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5 Responses to “Pillow Queens – Rats”

  1. love that this got exactly two scores lmao

  2. blurbin 9 or 5, what a way to make a listenin

  3. Perfect post, perfect comments, no notes.

  4. this is one of those songs i’ve jumped into with no context; never heard of this band before! respect the nines but my five is firm

  5. i mean this reminded me a lot of the music i was into as a teen with x’s on my hands at shows so like, you weren’t wrong…