Straddling the line between song-focused indie rock and the expanding perimeters of the jam scene, the New York band Ratboy has enjoyed quite a 2008, the year of the rat: They've opened the 2008 Mountain Jam festival, toured the northeast in support of their 2007 release Wading in the Balance (recorded at the legendary Utopias in Woodstock), and produced a down and dirty live EP that captured the band at its rollicking best. Beginning nearly 10 years ago as a side project and a creative outlet for its two core members, Ratboy has graduated into a main stage concern that has turned some heads and generated some heat, and the band intends to keep the momentum going into 2009.
Ratboy is Tim Sutton (guitar and vocals) and Matt Senzatimore (drums, vocals), veterans of numerous New York bands and heirs the rich musical legacy of New Yorks Hudson valley (Woodstock, New Paltz, Poughkeepsie). Sutton the voice of the band, a folky as well a gifted freestyle rapper has seen the world through the eyes of a guitar, performing alongside luminaries such as the Ramones, Phish, and Pete Seeger. Senzatimore the bands informal musical director is an academy-trained multi-instrumentalist who has pretty much thrown his training aside to stir the strange brew of Ratboy, always honoring the bands ethic of directness and simplicity, but never afraid to express his love of Frank Zappa or John Zorn in subtle and subversive ways.
Drawing comparisons to Lou Reed, Soul Coughing, Neil Young and Modest Mouse, Ratboy occupies a musical place similar to its geographical location; one can hear both the easy earthiness of upstate and the edginess of NYCs version of roots revivalism. Ratboy then blends in a dash of surrealism and even silliness, ala Beck or Ween, as the finishing touch on an original modern roots rock sound--classicist in its simplicity but full of quirky character. 2009 finds the band hitting their stride as a limber, exploratory live group and deepening their voice and range as songwriters. With a ripe batch of new songs ready for the studio and a rapidly filling calendar, Ratboy intends to make 2009 the other year of the rat. More info myspace.com/ratboy
“Ratboy delivers”-Daily Freeman
“Grab your fishing rod and light the hookah, this summer’s soundtrack has officially arrived” -Altercation Magazine
“Ratboy have been presenting their twisted pop vision around the valley for quite some time now, they serve up a scrappy, honest set of tunes that mix the simplicity of Crazy Horse/Neil Young with the irreverence of Cracker”-Roll Magazine
“The best bands somehow maintain an original voice while still honoring their influences. One group of such messengers of song is Ratboy. Their signature lyrical and harmonic twist-up shows such influences as Beck and Lou Reed”-Chronogram Magazine
“I was listening to the Ratboy CD to find my favorite song and I circled all of them”-Greg Gattine,WDST 100.1 FM Woodstock, NY