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Brave Rats

by Sunwatchers

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1.
Brave Rats 04:59
2.
Blind Willie 05:43
3.
4.
Sazx 04:13
5.
6.
Pedal One 03:01

about

SUNWATCHERS' Brave Rats EP (AMI 051) is the band's third Amish-related release (also see: 3 Characters with Eugene Chadbourne and Arthur Doyle’s First House).  Quick on the heels of the band’s fourth full-length, Oh Yeah? (Trouble in Mind) coming April 10, 2020, Brave Rats celebrates Sunwatchers and the EP format, well after the moment of the latter’s extinction.  

The title track delivers Sunwatchers’ most anthemic pop music to date, while the other five tracks mix the political with the punk, street toughs aligning with the avant-garde.  Guitarist Jim McHugh recounts the origins of both the title song and the EP itself:


"I was walking home very late at night from a short-lived bartending gig on the Lower East Side during a period when I had been reading books about the struggles of working-class people and immigrants and squatters in those neighborhoods. Coming across the Williamsburg Bridge, I decided to go by our old practice space on South 4th, across from Pies-N-Thighs—where I very briefly worked as a line cook.  This was the night the restaurant had reopened in their new location—and out front there was an enormous cadre of grease emboldened rats.  I kept thinking about the rats in relation to the new residents of the Lower East Side and North Brooklyn.  I hoped for those rats to be brazen and Brave in the face of the extermination efforts that they/we all face"


Other tracks on the EP include: a hypnotic and vaguely psychedelic cover of Sonny Sharrock’s “Blind Willie” taken from Sunwatchers’ first recorded studio session in March 2015; an alternate version of “Everybody Play”; an esoteric and extended deep dive with “Saxz”; and a live version of Alice Coltrane’s “Ptah, The El Daoud,” recorded when Sunwatchers opened for Bill Callahan in Brooklyn June 2016.  The EP closes with “Pedal One,” an outtake from Sunwatchers’ score to Ian Olds’ film Burn Country (2016). 

credits

released May 1, 2020

Side One
45RPM

BRAVE RATS
Recorded at Seaside Lounge (Brooklyn, NY; November 2017)
Engineered by Charles Burst
Overdubs completed at Jim's house
Mixed by Colin Langenus and Jim McHugh

Peter Kerlin: Bass
Jim McHugh: Six & Twelve String Guitars, Montar, Korg MS-20
Jason Robira: Drums
Jeff Tobias: Alto Sax, Wurlitzer MLM

-

BLIND WILLIE (Sonny Sharrock)
Recorded at Lone Pine Road Studio (Kingston, NY; March 2015)
Engineered and Mixed by Eli Winograd

Peter Kerlin: Bass
Jim McHugh: Guitar
Jason Robira: Drums
Jeff Tobias: Alto Sax, Police Car

-

Side Two
33.3 RPM

EVERYBODY PLAY!
Recorded at Seaside Lounge (Brooklyn, NY; November 2017)
Engineered by Charles Burst
Overdubs completed at Peter's house
Mixed by Jon Erickson
Alternate version recorded for 'Illegal Moves' (Trouble in Mind; 2019)

Peter Kerlin: Bass
Jim McHugh: Guitar
Jason Robira: Drums
Jeff Tobias: Alto Sax
Cory Bracken: Vibraphone

-

SAXZ
Recorded at SW's South 11th Street Practice Space (Bklyn, NY; Summer 2015

Jim McHugh: Electric Saz
Jeff Tobias: Alto Sax

-

PTAH, THE EL DAOUD (Alice Coltrane)
Recorded live at Baby's All Right (Brooklyn, NY; June 2016)

Peter Kerlin: Bass
Jim McHugh: Twelve-string Guitar
Jason Robira: Drums
Jeff Tobias: Alto Sax
Jonah Rapino: Violin
David Kadden: Oboe

-

PEDAL ONE
Recorded at Seaside Lounge (Brooklyn, NY; November 2017)
Engineered by Charles Burst
Unused track from SW's original score for Ian Old's film 'Burn Country' (2016)

Jim McHugh: Korg MS-20
Jeff Tobias: Electric Piano, Acoustic Piano, Alto Sax

-

Mastered by Joel Hatstat at Joel Hatstat Mastering (Athens, GA; Fall 2019)

Cover art: Joey Whitley/MERZ

All songs by Sunwatchers unless otherwise noted
DRONES AGAINST DRONES MUSIC BMI, 2020

Sunwatchers Stand In Solidarity With The Dispossessed, Impoverished and Embattled People of The World.

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Sunwatchers New York

Jim McHugh, Jason Robira, Jeff Tobias, Peter Kerlin, often others

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