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First Long Player Record

The Rats

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Album Review

With only one single to their credit, the Rats were forgotten until they and that single, "Turtle Dove," were excavated for RPM's junk-shop glam rock Boobs — and a few years later, RPM put out First Long Play Record, the first time a full-length Rats record ever surfaced. Appropriately for a band that barely existed in the charts, the Rats weren't so much a real group as a project, fronted by David Kubinec and produced by ex-Joe Meek engineer Adrian Millar. They were meant to ride the glitter wave, so it's not much surprise that they sounded like a blend of T. Rex and the Sweet, two of the biggest bands in the style, and that kind of unapologetic theft is part of the pleasure here. Glam and glitter always sounded better when they were trash, and what's trashier than stealing from other bands? But the Rats stole with style, crafting a bunch of really intoxicating pop along the way, including the boogie of "L.A. Highway" and "Oxford Donna," which brings to mind shades of Bolan's "Mad Donna." If the cheap pleasures of First Long Play Record kind of fizzle out by the end of the album, it nevertheless has plenty of punch throughout, and is the rare glitter record that comes very close to delivering on the promise of its single.

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