New Jersey comes from the Rat Rod quintet, a band devoting soul and body to the purest and most uncontaminated rock'n'roll, citing sacred monsters like Led Zeppelin, AC / DC and Gunsn Roses, but especially Rose Tattoo and The Angels, real legends of the Aussie Rocks that reside in the American combo songs.     The band is made up of singer Mike Smith, guitarist Mark and Brice Mc Carty, bassist Liljohn and drummer Elliot Howard. A very old school image and an equally "tamarro" logo (in the good sense of the term) complete a package that will not dislike those who appreciate the above mentioned bands. It begins with "Rat Like Me", a rock'n'roll on the neck, followed by "Mirror, Mirror", mid-time irresistible between AC / DC, Rose Tattoo and Junkyard with Smith's "alcoholic" singing that guides us "Out of the darkness, into the light". And if "The Fool" reminded me of the great and underrated The Four Horsemen, "Mr. Negativity "could be compared to what was recently done by another great r'n'r band, the Canadian The Wild! We talked about The Angels among the influences of ours, and here's the cover of "Marseilles" performed in a very respectful way to the original version, the good Neeson Doc would have appreciated. The second part of the disc flows pleasantly across pure r'n'r rays like "Beds of Fire" and mid-Australian brand time like "Ride It (Like Ya Stole It). Closing then entrusted to the title track, a statement of love in full swing for a musical genre that in spite of the various "De Profundis" is still able to give us bands that can remind us of what the true rock'n'roll is. Thanks Rat Rod, The Flame Still Burns .... a statement of love in full swing for a musical genre that in spite of the various "De Profundis" is able to give us bands that can remind us what the true rock'n'roll is. Thanks Rat Rod, The Flame Still Burns .... a statement of love in full swing for a musical genre that in spite of the various "De Profundis" is able to give us bands that can remind us what the true rock'n'roll is. Thanks Rat Rod, The Flame Still Burns ....” - Federico Martinelli


RATRODDo You Remember Rock and Roll?independent That’s a really terrible name for a band, by the way. Although at least it means you’ll be found if someone tries to Bing you. Unlike the album title which was, of course, on the Ramones album “End of the Century”. Thankfully they don’t have that much in common with da bruvvers apart from a basic approach to both rock and roll. Which isn’t that surprising as guitarist and co-writer Mark McCarty also plies his trade in an AC/DC covers band called Over/Dose. But this is all original material bar a visit to Australia and the Angels (Angel City) album “Face To Face” for a run through their Marseilles number. But basically they stick to the raunch and roll purveyed by Acca Dacca, Rose Tattoo and their followers. So it’s balls to the wall rock and roll from start to finish. They sound like a really good bar band that would be well served by a basement and a couple of hundred drunk bikers who would lap up numbers like ‘Rat Like Me’ and (my favourite) ‘Ride It (Like Ya Stole It)’. Vocally I’m reminded of David Roach from Junkyard and they operate in a similar field og grubby, blues tinged, rough as hell, rock and roll. Which is, officially, a Very Good Thing. You might listen to it too often on a school night but if you’re getting beered up, ready to go bruising, then this will get you in the mood.” - Stuart Hamilton

Zeitgeist The Rocker

Music Review : Rat Rod “Do You Remember Rock And Roll”   Review by Kristin Welcome Do you remember Rock And Roll? Well do you? The music of today, so ultimately filled with melancholy, politics, and so much angst, often forgets to be fun, Rat Rod in their latest  release “ Do You Remember Rock And Roll” is that musical return back to the days when Rock N Roll music was fun, fast, hard, and even a bit raunchy. This album will fit right in between bands like Motorhead and AC/DC. The band totes influences from Chuck Berry, to Little Richard, to The Rolling Stones, and Kiss; and these influences can be felt track after track. Listening to this album is a raucous good time, and you will forget everything else, just tune in and rock out. The band takes you through a history lesson of the Rock N Roll greats on title track, “ Do you Remember Rock And Roll”, and reminds us, the listener, of the good times we had listening to those artists like Chuck Berry. This comes to us with down and dirty guitar solos, and pounding drum beats.   Other themes on the album include what rock songs should be about, fast living, motorcycles, bar fights, women, and good times. Songs like “Rat Like Me”, “The Fool”, and “Ride it Like You Stole It” illustrate these themes perfectly through overtones of punk rock, thrash, and metal. Other favorites on the album are “Mr. Negativity”, and “Mirror Mirror”. “Mr. Negativity” seems to address the pretentious and over dramatic nature of our times, and implore the listener to let loose, to see more to life. The song has an infectious groove as well. Also “Mirror Mirror” seems to be a commentary between the protagonist and his mirror, a story of the tolls life in the fast lane takes on you, but in a light hearted manner. The song has a vibe very similar to Motorhead, a raunchy style, and hard driving riffs. In all Rat Rod asks “Do You Remember Rock And Roll” and through listening to this album, fist in the air, we shout hell yes! You can’t help but rock along to Rat Rod, and feel good doing it.” - Kristin Welcome

Totally Driven Entertainment

RatRod – Do You Remember Rock and Roll Jan 18, 2018 | Music0 comments RatRod go for a wild, unhinged, manic sort of energy with the careening “Do You Remember Rock and Roll”. An attitude of defiance dominates over the course of “Do You Remember Rock and Roll”. Comparisons to AC/DC feel somewhat inevitable for they go for a visceral, full-bodied style. The tremendous swagger of the album works wonders with riffs that linger in the mind. Playful to its very core, RatRod hold nothing back rushing through in a glorious sea of distortion letting volume serve in a most special, greatly joyous way. In fact, this is the defining characteristic of the entire album: its tremendous sense of fun.   Not a moment is wasted for “Rat Like Me” rushes forth with an insane, unbelievable display of chops, from the commanding vocals to the chaotic guitar solos. Jagged guitar riffs introduce the raw power of “The Fool”. Chugging rhythms with a sun-scorched take lends “More Than Meets the Eye” a sense of defiance. Incorporating a little bit of a bluesy grit “Ride It (Like Ya Stole It)” serves as one of the highlights of the album, showing off the tremendous vocals. A timeless dreamy atmosphere permeates the out of control passion of “Beds on Fire”. By far the best is saved for the last with the thoughtful ode of the title track “Do You Remember Rock and Roll”.   Wild, carefree, and embodying what rock and roll should be, RatRod’s “Do You Remember Rock and Roll” reminds the listener what real rock is. It is this.   ”

Celebrate Valentine’s Day 2018 With Some Real Rock And Roll From RatRod by Skope • February 14, 2018   We are so excited to have RatRod here on Valentine’s Day 2018. We hooked up with Mark after hearing their single, ‘Mirror Mirror’ and have been playing these guys since. There is so much to like about this group from Jersey and we knew the Skope audience would agree. Join us today as we chat about the album ‘Do You Remember Rock and Roll’, forming the band, whats sets them apart, and so much more! @skopemag: Where are we talking from today and how is 2018 so far? We are in Somerdale,NJ which is just outside of Philadelphia, so we generally consider ourselves a Philly band. Our 2018 is going great so far. We have been working on new tunes, and playing to some great crowds all over. @skopemag: How and when did you come up with the name RatRod? Mike (vox) and I really wanted to come up with a name that stood out but yet signified what we were about. I am a huge car nut, I have old cars and am big in the old car hobby. Mike is equally interested in the art and beauty of old cars. He searched around and came across the term rat rod and we were both like “yes! That fits us exactly!” For those who may not know, a rat rod is an old car that is put together with a lot of different parts not just car parts and not necessarily from the same make or model. It looks a little dangerous at times and certainly rough around the edges, just like us! @skopemag: How did the bandmates all come together and were you friend as well as music partners? Mike and I got together through a mutual friend. This friend learned that I was no longer in a band and mentioned to Mike that he and I should get together. Mike contacted me and musically we just hit it off, in total agreement in almost everything. At that point he and I began writing the tunes that became “Do You Remember Rock and Roll” The rest of the members came about as we decided to form the actual band to play the tunes live. The rhythm guitarist Brice, is my son and a very talented multi-instrument musician himself. Elliott Howard our drummer I’ve known since he was in high school and I knew his talent was unsurpassed and would be a perfect fit as soon as Brice suggested him. LilJohn is our bassist and he came into the RatRod fold as a result of Mike saw him playing in a local club one night. Mike was very impressed with John’s playing and stage presents, so he talked John into checking us out, the rest is history. @skopemag: How much time per week can you devote to the band? We spend quite a bit of time devoted to RatRod. From rehearsal to writing, to the constant promotion that is necessary to keep this machine progressing, easily halve to three quarters of our non-day job working hours is devoted somehow to RatRod. @skopemag: You have an album out now ‘Do You Remember Rock and Roll’. How long were you writing & recording that album? We wrote and recorded the album over the course of eight months starting in November of 2016 and finishing in June 2017. We mixed and mastered it between June and August and released it on August 25 of 2017. @skopemag: How did you guys choose the 10 songs? We wrote 12 complete songs and had remnants and parts for another 3 or 4. We just chose the best of those tunes based on how they made us feel when we listened to them combined with a limited few people outside the band who gave us feedback. @skopemag: Will you be doing any live shows to promote the album? Yes, we are actively playing throughout the northeastern US, primarily in the Philly region but ever expanding. @skopemag: What does RatRod add to the music scene that you feel it is missing? In a word, energy. There are of course exceptions, but so many times you go see a band, and the music may be great. The musicianship can be top notch but rarely do you see a group who combines those 2 factors with a high-energy performance. We do. You will not hear a ballad from us. We are not going to “slow it down for you” other than in tempo. You’ll get the fast rockers and the nasty grooves but nothing soft or “heart-felt” lol You will not see us stand in one place very long and you will see us sweat!! We put it all out there, we work our asses off for our audience because they deserve nothing less! @skopemag: The video for ‘Mirror Mirror’ is awesome. How did you set up the visuals? You might be surprised to learn that the video was all done on an iPhone! We simple recorded a rehearsal one night, did some editing with an app called InShot. Like much of this project, it’s been a pleasant surprise. @skopemag: What is coming up for RatRod and where you @ online? We are currently working on our second album that we hope to have ready for release in August of this year. We are continuing to play many shows, in fact we a big show at Philadephia’s Trocadaro, music theatre in April opening for Punky Meadows of Angel fame that we are really looking forward to. You can find out all the details when we post them shortly at – From there you can link to all of our social media, Youtube, and Spotify pages. ”

Skope Mag

Label:  Unsigned Release Date:  25  August  2017 Genre:  Hard  Rock “Does anybody remember rock and roll?  Rat Rod does!  They play rock and roll the way it should be.  Hard and loud and nothing mellow!” I first met lead guitarist Mark McCarty a few years ago when he was playing rhythm guitar for New Jersey based AC/DC tribute band Overdose.  They split up and Mark was talking about his new original project. Of course I was interested – he was a huge classic era AC/DC fan like me, but he also loved bands like Rose Tattoo, Angel, Airbourne etc.  He posted sound clips and videos and I really liked what I heard but life got in the way – I had taken a break from writing about music and just kind of existed.  Recently I got the writing bug again and after posting on Facebook about a less than professional encounter I had with an “elder statesman” of British metal – Mark reached out to me about reviewing the RatRod CD, “Do You Remember Rock and Roll”, and very kindly sent me the tracks.   Right out of the gate, with the opening track, “Rat like Me” – Rockabilly – you can picture these guys worshiping at the altar of Duane Eddy while wearing AC/DC shirts and wishing Bon hadn't choked on his own vomit.  But wait – then there's “Mirror Mirror” and in your mind's eye you can see little Angry Anderson strutting around belting out the lyrics while these guys stand behind him with their Gretsch country Gentlemen.  And the middle of the fast paced, good time rock n' roll - bang – a balls out, blues drenched cover of “Marseilles” by the Australian band “The  Angels”. If you go to the band's Facebook page, it lists their influences as “Chuck Berry, Elvis, Little Richard, The Who, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, The Kinks, AC/DC, Rose Tattoo, The Angels(Angel City), Airbourne, Jet, Cold Chisel, Free, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, Kiss,”  And honestly, how can you see that and think “WOW THAT SUCKS.” You can't.  Because that doesn't suck.  It's a lot to live up to – but RatRod delivers.  Honestly about half way through my first listen I messaged Mark to tell him how impressed I was.  I had a big smile on my face during the entire maiden listen.  These guys aren't a rip off of Australian rock bands – they are very modern sounding – very AMERICAN sounding.  And best of all (at least to me) NO BALLADS :) Vocalist Mike Smith, while similar in tone and delivery to my beloved Bon Scott has a lot of layers to his voice and a lot of power.  The musicianship is top notch.  These guys have been honing their craft for years in bands in Philadelphia /Southern New Jersey. This is definitely the type of music I can see being played at barbecues this summer, or at the beach, anywhere people want to have a good time and rock out. Highly recommended!!” - Rys Devra

The Ripple Effect

“Light Em Up” The New Album to Be Released by Rat Rod is a Dose of High Voltage Rock N’ Roll you Won’t Want to Miss. Rat Rod is back, with “Light Em Up” the sophomore release to “Do You Remember Rock N’ Roll,” a full length album which delivers a high voltage punch track after track. If you are looking for that gritty Hard Rock sound, that balls to the wall AC/DC swagger, that Motorhead “Born To Raise Hell” attitude, and a kick of Punk Rock energy look no further than “Light Em Up” to deliver that. “Light Em Up” follows closely in the Rat Rod tradition of Vintage Rock N’ Roll revivalism harkening back to the days when music was fast, loud, and fun; and takes it even a step farther in the new release. “Light Em Up” marks even further the evolution that Rat Rod is taking with their trademarked sound, with artistic influences and musical prowess at a new height.  The album will swiftly find itself as your summer time soundtrack, with a release date set for April 15, just in time for warmer weather, Rat Rod will turn up the heat. “Light Em Up” will deliver that sense of ten foot tall attitude, and inexplicable sense of cool, that will be the music you blast on your Harley, in your Hot Rod, or at your summer time party. It is both feel good, and “kick ass” all the way through. Highlights on the album are the title track, “Light Em Up” a high octane track sure to get you moving. “Light Em Up” features that same gritty Rock N’ Roll feel, but you also cannot help but notice a strong dose of Punk Rock fueling the song in bass and drum parts, especially. The track is melodic enough; catchy; that it will get you singing, and energetic enough to have you dancing, or putting the pedal down a little bit harder in that “Hot Rod” you’re driving. This song is packed full of swagger and will deliver that invincible attitude you crave. “Lightning Strikes” set to be the first single released off the album, is another favorite. “Lightning Strikes” is a heavy hitter, fast, loud, gritty, with a chorus line that will get you chanting along; perhaps in the vein of AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell”. “Lighting Strikes” definitely has that same dose of attitude, however Rat Rod makes it their own, bringing a dimension to the song that highlights their musical sensibilities as Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area natives. Rat Rod delivers on the Philly flavor in this track; ultimately difficult to describe, but if you have lived near or been to Philly, you just get it; and that energy is celebrated here. “Peacemaker” starts off as a departure from other Rat Rod songs, with a much heavier and almost Blues infused opening solo; this song caught my attention. Keeping in the style of Rat Rod “Peacemaker” pushes the envelope into new territory not seen on the previous album, in my opinion, giving the band yet another dimension, tackling almost a gunslinger  theme in the storyline, but bringing a heavier riff laden sound as the backbone of the song. I think this would make a great second single release for this album, and I could see some ” bad ass” video ideas for this one. Every song on this album delivers an in your face dose of Rock N’ Roll, and is chock full of energy and attitude to have you grooving, singing, and rocking the whole album through. Don’t just take my word for it, you should check this album out when it drops, as I am sure you will find your own favorites here as well. This album is meaty in that department and there is a ton to choose from.  Going back to their first album Rat Rod posed the question, “Do you Remember Rock N’ Roll?” with “Light Em Up” Rat Rod answers that question, “Hell Yes! We do” and we agree.” - Kristen Welcome

Outlaw Reviews

By Kevin Law,​South Jersey’s Rat Rod have completed their second full-length album, Light ’Em Up, a collection of high energy tracks sure to fuel the fire of an impassioned rock and roll spirit. It will be available for purchase at their shows, and through their website, beginning June 1. But before I dive in, I need to push an Aussie elephant out of the room right off the bat. Yes, Rat Rod will make you think of AC/DC. You’ll picture Bon Scott while listening to vocalist Mike Smith’s voice at times, and you’ll hear the sounds of the brothers Young in Mark McCarty’s riffs, especially at the beginning of the title track. Please know that they know (try as they might, they ain’t deaf), and are appreciative of the comparisons to them, and the many other influences they embrace. If this band were merely an AC/DC copycat, I could assure you, I wouldn’t bother writing this review. This band captures the vibe and exhibits a feel for this style of music, and it comes through loud and clear on these songs. Overall Light ’Em Up is a continuation of the Rat Rod sound first heard on their 2017 album Do You Remember Rock And Roll. However, they’ve added some new ingredients making this release stronger than its predecessor. First, you’ll hear a broader range of singer Mike Smith’s voice which provides a nice balance throughout. Secondly, and maybe more importantly, is that this album is a full band effort, whereas the previous was created before the group being formed and only had McCarty and Smith as the primary players. The steady and driving rhythm that bassist LJ, guitarist Matt Flanigan and drummer Elliott Howard deliver is a welcomed new feature to the growing Rat Rod arsenal. To love this album, look no further than the opener “Lightning Strikes” which invites the listener in by busting the door open and introducing you to the singer’s “Step right in” tone of voice. The song builds on a slow and steady rhythm leading to an infectious chorus that makes singing along an involuntary action. It’s here that Rat Rod shows a marked difference from any comparison that they might get labeled with. And that is that THEY ARE FUN! The singing in the chorus adds a dash of good-humored flavor, leaving no doubt that they are into what they’re doing. It doesn’t tell you to have fun, it MAKES you do it. A similar feeling is heard at the beginning of the second song, “American Rock n Roll.” The playful call-and-response guitars get the listener into it, the way the chorus vocals do in “Lightning Strikes.” You’ll also get something you wouldn’t point to AC/DC for, and that’s a ballad (ok, even if it is just a word in the title). “Peacemaker (The Ballad Of Tombstone),” inspired by one of Smith’s favorite films, shows another side of the band, sonically, compared to their debut album. It's also indicative of a theme that runs through the album’s lyrics — a man who, although made cynical by the world around him, holds hope, and is ready for a clean break and new connections. In “Hell And Back,” (by the way, the guitar solo on this song, F-U-N, FUN!) the singer has circled his wagons and set up for defense while in “Lone Wolf Rider” he’s “Free as the breeze, free to ride on!” Philly area listeners will also appreciate The Dead End Kids reference in the song. A pretty good indication that Smith’s lyrics come from a personal place. Enough can’t be said about the guitar playing on this album. Mark McCarty’s solos are on (last AC/DC reference I swear) FIRE! They alone give reason for the album’s title. The rhythm section provides the heart to the band’s sound, and the lead guitar is the high blood pressure coursing through it. Listen to “Memphis Belle” as proof of this point. And one more note on the added dashes of fun, pay attention to the first part of the solo on this one and notice that Mark shares it with rhythm guitarist Matt Flanigan. “Memphis Belle,” along with track six, “Sleep With The Saints,” clearly demonstrate what to expect when you see this band perform live. To reiterate, this band is high energy and, as LJ summed up in a recent interview with Bay Ragni, “Three chords and a cloud of dust.” Safe to say that dust is all you’ll be left with if you don’t get on board with Rat Rod and Light ’Em Up.  ” - Kevin Law

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