When I first laid eyes on this record by the Northern Rattle, I had no clue what to expect. For starters, the record itself is an eight inch piece of clear vinyl with what appears to be finger painting over the label on side A. The cover features a black and white picture of a building and aside from the band name, title, label logo (a skull), and track list, there is no information to speak of. In the final stages of guessing, I decided that once I dropped the stylus on the record, I?d be listening to a metal band (probably because of the skull), but I could not have been more wrong.
The ?Weatherman EP? is very similar aesthetically to some of the early Elephant 6 releases. By that, I mean that the recording sounds very lo-fi and even in a short amount of time, there are several instrumental interludes and odd bridges between songs. According to the track listing there are a total of eight tracks on the record, however, each side feels like one extended song.
Musically, the Northern Rattle owes more to 60s garage and psychadelia than the retro pop of the Elephant 6 collective. The guitar and drum sound reminds me of this, in particular. A few of these tracks, particularly ?Low? and ?8000 Souls,? would not be at all out of place if they showed up on a Nuggets-style compilation. This is not to say that the band is overly derivative. In fact, because of their mesh of music and aesthetics, the band is able to channel its influences into something fresh, rather than sounding like a dull rehash.
In the end, what excites me the most about the ?Weatherman EP? is how much ground is covered in such a short amount of time. In terms of content, it really feels like listening to a full album, rather than an EP. With so many musical ideas, this record warrants repeat spins. 8/10 -- Matt Blackall (27 March, 2007)