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Doubleplusungood

Trioofsongsquitegoodtherestnotuptomuch
americana UK review Rat Silo “doubleplusungood” (Independent, 2009) Coming from Vancouver, Rat Silo ought to be aware of Nomeansno who have been purveying a flexible muscular kind of punk rock for a couple of decades now. They would do well to learn from their forefathers for whilst Rat Silo do occasionally stumble upon the type of pop-punk nugget that makes this sort of thing worthwhile (the chorus of ‘Oh, Fuck Off Tony’ is like a ball of melody and energy bouncing around inside a fishtank) they mostly pour out embarrassingly limited songs in a limp way. They do try to add killer hooks but they never quite grip ‘Hello Beautiful Girl’ threatens to gain traction but it ends up staring at its own ass. Standing up proudly is ‘Candy Let You Hair Hang Down’ which sounds like the Velvet Underground as played by the Loft or other early Creation record signing. They do have an amiable avoidance of repetition; this could almost be a compilation of rough and ready garage bands with the closing ‘Shiny Light’ sounding like a Silver Jews song popping up on a Nuggets compilation and that would be something worth investigating. Date review added: Monday, July 13, 2009 Reviewer: David Cowling  
Rat Silo
discorder Doubleplusungood (Independent) Jim Newton, a Vancouverite whose previous band, Sons of Freedom, received critical notice in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, is the creative force behind pop/rock band Rat Silo. After a 12 year hiatus from the music industry, Jim has assembled a crack band of industry veterans—including members of Jakalope, Numb, 54-40, SNFU and the Tainted Lovers—to record Doubleplusungood. The album shows all the signs of a guy who has returned to making music for the right reasons: he’s good at it and he loves it. And at this point in his career, Newton’s not going to pull his punches, and has earned the right to tell it like it is, as opening rocker “Oh, Fuck Off Tony” sardonically demonstrates. But if this is a man who casts a weary eye at the world (“I Blame It On Your Momma” and “Jiggle My Wiggle”), he has come out with his optimism (mostly) intact, an achievement in itself, which he celebrates on “Shiny Light.” He has also not lost his capacity to love, which expresses itself in wonder and gratitude for relationships on “Hello Beautiful Girl” and “Candy Let Your Hair Hang Down.” The songs are unpretentiously simple in both composition and arrangement, and while this approach can make for music that occasionally sounds familiar, the essence of this music lies in its spirit, not innovation. Hopefully that’s something that music fans can still be grateful for. —Jonathan Evans  
CD OF THE WEEK Rat Silo: Doubleplusungood
The Province, Tuesday May 26 2009 Rat Silo's first album seemed a hasty re-entry to the music business by ex-Sons of Freedom singer Jim Newton, but the second shows a band that has grown in confidence and scope. It just sounds bigger and bolder on songs such as "Shiny Light" or "Oh, F--- Off Tony." Newton's voice may be thin but his songwriting perspective is novel. Credit, too, goes to engineer Mark Henning for being able to expand on the band's sound —Tom Harrison  
RAT SILO doubleplusungood
Soundline Magazine I was speechless. Pressing play to a song entitled "Oh, Fuck Off Tony", I never knew what to expect. But as the chords were strummed and the beats from the drums filled my living room, I knew that I was going to like this. It reminded me of one of my favourite bands and their EP, and I couldn’t wait to hear more. I continue to scroll down the list of songs on doubleplusungood and the titles only get more and more unique. Who in the world would have songs with titles such as "Jiggle My Wiggle", "I Blame it on Your Momma", and "Candy Let Your Hair Hang Down"? Well this mystery has been solved. I now present to you, the reader, the unique works of Rat Silo. Rat Silo, based out of British Columbia, features Jim Newton belting out the words, Don Binns picking at the strings on his bass, Finn Manniche strumming along on guitar, Dave Osborne pressing those keys and Organ Sean Stubbs tapping away on the drums. What a fine group. Others have claimed that this group has many distinct sounds depending on the song. It ranges from rock to blues. Each song seems to tell a story or send out some sort of message to the listener. “Well in a cold dark room in a cheap motel. With a big black dog and silver bell,” starts off "Lord Help Me Focus Tonight". This song continues on to tell the story of a man who may have a bit of trouble in his life. The idea of a story in a song can also be found in "Jiggle My Wiggle", where the first verse starts out saying “Come listen to my tale.” But the lyrics only continue to get more unique as the songs continue. One of the songs that I really enjoyed started out something like this: "I’m going to eat you said the lion to the zebra as licked his lips and sharpened his claws. You got to catch me said the zebra to the lion as he backed his ass out the door." I highly recommend listening to "A Lion and Zebra Walked Into A Bar". It is greatly worth the amusement and is definitely a really catchy song. That said, I leave you with this: “Next time you see me, make sure you see me. You won’t see me cause I’ll be gone.” Why? Cause I’ll be off enjoying the entertainment of Rat Silo, of course! —Melissa Wiseman  
Rat Silo
Georgia Straight Instant Playlist May 7 2009 A Lion and a Zebra Walk Into a Bar (RSMC) No, it’s not the setup to the kind of joke that hasn’t been funny since Henny Youngman was a hot-list comic, but instead a rollicking shot of piano-powered alt-boogie. Sons of Whodom?  

What the Butler Saw

What The Butler Saw
Punk Globe Curiosity killed this Vancougrr Hellcat when I was at "Bonerattle Music Store" (on Commercial Dr.), shopping for a tambourine & cowbell to polish off my upcoming act with THE LIL GUITAR ARMY, at The Penthouse for "The Nearly Famous Music Festival", Nov. 14/08!!! Much to my surprise, I stumbled across a copy of "Rat Silo's" CD. "WhatThe Butler Saw"… I was looking at the Players on the CD and noticed all these players I knew. Now it gets complicated!!! Since I, Gerry-Jenn Wilson, once sang in "Black Eye Buddha" with Rat Silo bassist—Don (Bunny) Binns. Who also used to play in "Sons Of Freedom," with fellow front man—Jim Newton. Who is now singing again with Don (Bunny) Binns In "RAT SILO"… I would have had to have been blind, crippled & crazy not to put their Rat Silo Musical Ass' in a sling & enjoy the process of reviewing these Rodents...For better or worse!!! As I Previously mentioned, Bassist Don (Bunny) Binns & Vocalist Jim Newton have already made history in The Sons Of Freedom. Onward and upward with RAT SILO they again will make HISTORY! This CD Rocks. There is NOT a stinker on this little gem.. It RULES! Buy it Now!! —Gerry-Jenn Wilson  
New Music Canada Track of the Day for December 21, 2007 Rat Silo "Getupgotoworkgohomegotobed"
New Music Canada Track of the Day by CBC Radio 3 (CBC Radio 3 | NV2007) For an increasing number of people, the first time they hear a song is through TV—a teen drama or a commercial. I remember discovering the French duo Air by Googling "levis commercial with couple in sinking car" to find the song "Playground Love." It's got to the point where some people even envision themselves as advertising executives, they close their ideas and put together a scenario for a song that catches them. Kind of backwards, but I understand how it's happened.The first time I played this song on BC's afternoon shows on CBC Radio One all kinds of people said to me, wow—this would be great in a cell phone ad, you know - the ones where people look a bit broken but something could fix it.And it's true. This song by Vancouver band Rat Silo, all one word "getupgotoworkgohomegotobed" is so catchy you just know it could propel some product to mega success. Rat Silo is made up of two former members of the late, great Vancouver band Sons of Freedom: Jim Newton and Don Binns, a band I still admire to this day. Rat Silo's full debut is due in January, but a few songs were put up on their NMC page last month. With some luck people will be Googling "cool song about my dull life" and we'll all be singing along.  
What The Butler Saw
Vue Weekly, March 6 2008, Issue #646 Rat Silo What the Butler Saw Independent Stripped down rock dirges With tastes of white guy blues and Chain-gang singalongs  
Rat Silo: What The Butler Saw
Fast Forward Weekly Calgary, March 20 2008 Independent Published March 20, 2008 by Nathan Atnikov in CD Reviews Depending on your point of view, Rat Silo is either the latest Canadian supergroup or a new busy-work outlet for a collection of aging rock stars. Helmed by former Sons of Freedom front man Jim Newton, Rat Silo also employs members of 54-40, Jakalope, Numb and Bif Naked’s band. Unfortunately, the most amazing thing about What the Butler Saw is how much the band had to pad the album to get it up to nine tracks, including a Ramones cover (“I Don’t Care”) and two versions of the album’s best song, “The Cock the Size of Roma.” Not to mention “Back Behind the Bike Shed” and “Shut Yer Mouth Jimbo,” both of which are just barely zygotes of songs. What’s left of the album is actually a fun and inventive collection of blues-rock best suited to a small tavern where your cowboy boots stick to the floor, and your only option at the bar is beer. “The World’s Longest Bar” and “Getupgotoworkgohomegotobed” both drive forward with the confidence of a band that has been around the block — if only they’d taken the time to write some more songs.  
Freedom's Newton gravitates to new band
The Province, February 4 2008 Any discussion of Jim Newton's new band, Rat Silo, starts with his old band, Sons of Freedom. Although Sons of Freedom broke up 15 years ago, it is revered for being ahead of its time and its three albums, two of which can be heard via iTunes, are remembered as being among the best the West Coast, or Canada, of the early '90s had made. The band had great potential but blew it. "I quit in '93," Newton recalls. "We were in a bad place. We had lost our second recording contract, we weren't happy with our management and we were tired of getting thrown in with all these grunge bands." Newton ended the band in-fighting by moving to Toronto. He came back to Vancouver a few years ago, and initially tried to fashion a band with former Sons. When this didn't work, Rat Silo came into being. Newton had the drive and the songs and he no longer felt the music business was his enemy. "You don't ever want to make the same mistake twice," Newton says. "We didn't want a repeat of Sons of Freedom. Rat Silo is a natural extension rather than a duplicate of Sons of Freedom." He called on Finn Manniche (a multi-instrumentalist, who restricts himself to thrilling lead guitar), Dave Osborne (keyboards, 54-40 alumnus), Don Binns (from Sons Of Freedom, on bass) and drummer Sean Stubbs. Their starting place is an album, What the Butler Saw. "I wanted to keep everything flexible based on who joined up," he explains. "I had worked out all the songs in advance with Pro-tools. The original versions were quite whacky. "I started it," Newton continues. "Nobody would have been in the band if I hadn't pulled it together. In that regard, it's my band." The change from Newton's demos to what is on the album, merely is down to letting each musician play in their style. The result is varied and not at all what might be expected of the singer of Sons of Freedom. The closest Rat Silo comes to sounding like SOF is not even a Newton song but The Ramones' "I Don't Care" slowed down to a heavy dirge. The album starts with the jaunty "Getupgotoworkgohomegotobed." Songs such as "Shut Yer Mouth Jimbo" are examples of Newton's sarcastic humour. However, there is a feeling that Newton was in a hurry to get a band launched. Therefore, if Rat Silo continues to develop, a more distinctive sound will emerge. For now, this is a respectable introduction to Rat Silo and re-introduction to Jim Newton. —Tom Harrison  
Rat Silo swaggers to life
Georgia Straight, April 17, 2008 Local Motion By Alexander Varty Those who remember Sons of Freedom—the Vancouver postpunk band of the 1980s and early 1990s, not the lumpy, nude Doukhobor protesters of the Wacky Bennett era—probably retain a clear mental image of singer Jim Newton. Back in the day, he was one of our city’s most charismatic frontmen, a lean and feral figure in the Jim Morrison or Iggy Pop mode. And judging by the sound of his new band, Rat Silo, he’s managed to retain all of his intensity, despite a 10-year sabbatical from the music industry. One thing has changed, however: these days, Newton’s more than happy to laugh at himself. Rat Silo’s debut, What the Butler Saw, is one of the most hilarious hard-rock records since the Igster’s underappreciated New Values. Whether spewing over-the-top sexual innuendo on “Dirty Girl” or erecting a lurid advertisement for “The Cock the Size of Roma”, Newton takes a slew of sleazy obsessions and blows them up to blimpish proportions. The miraculous part of this act, however, is that while his tongue is obviously planted in his cheek, he’s also wholly believable in his rock-god swagger. “You’ve got to stand up there with a deadpan face and just give it,” says the British-born singer, on the line from his East Van digs. “If you kind of crap out and let everybody in on the gag, you’re not acting in character anymore, and the whole point is to act in character—to really be that.” By far the most amusing track on What the Butler Saw is the a cappella “Shut Yer Mouth Jimbo”, in which Newton brags “I know everybody/I know everything” while the rest of the Rats gang-chant the title. “I wanted to make sure that people realize that it’s perfectly all right to pick on the singer occasionally,” the vocalist explains, laughing. “Sometimes you’ve got to burst the singer’s bubble.” But don’t make the mistake of thinking that Newton’s new band is some kind of Dread Zeppelin–style piss-take. The album’s kickoff track, “Getupgotoworkgohomegotobed”, is a heartfelt yet hard-hitting look at the dreaded midlife crisis, and one that’s obviously drawn from personal experience. With its opening lines of “Stuck in a rut/And I feel so afraid,” it’s a true cry from the soul—and, not surprisingly, it was written during Newton’s decade-long retirement from rock. Rat Silo’s frontman explains that he was actually done with music as early as 1993, when Sons of Freedom disbanded. The group reconvened a couple of years later, to promote a rarities package, Tex, but this final tour only confirmed his disillusionment. In short order, Newton trained as an actor, but didn’t find that role fulfilling; earned a diploma in land surveying from BCIT; moved to Toronto and got married; and wrote an album’s worth of sampler- and sequencer-based songs, which he ultimately shelved. He then got a degree in computer engineering, and it was while he was employed as an IT technician that “Getupgotoworkgohomegotobed” emerged. “The money was exceptionally good,” he confesses, “but when you do a bit of navel-gazing and look at your life, you realize how much you’re doing that isn’t just about bare-bones survival.” More soul-searching ensued, followed by a divorce and a move back to Vancouver—and to making music. In Rat Silo, Newton is joined by his Sons of Freedom colleague Don Binns on bass, along with Finn Manniche on guitar, Dave Osborne on keyboards, and Sean Stubbs on drums. The quintet was originally something Newton threw together for What the Butler Saw, but the rock veterans—who, collectively, have also performed with 54-40, Bif Naked, Numb, and Jakalope—connected on such an intuitive level that they quickly became a band. And if Newton has his way, Rat Silo will have a long and enjoyable career—despite the band’s being formed during what he describes as “the worst possible time” to be involved in the music business. “The one thing I make a point of, right now, is to try and make sure that I’m actually having fun with this all the time,” he says. “It’s kind of like a little mantra for Rat Silo: if we’re not going to make any money, let’s make damn sure we’re having fun.” Rat Silo plays the Plaza Club tonight (April 17) and the Railway Club next Thursday (April 24).  
Rat Silo
Georgia Straight CD review, January 31 2008 By John Lucas What the Butler Saw (Independent) Rat Silo is the latest project headed by singer-guitarist Jim Newton, working here in collaboration with some fairly well-known local musicians, including bassist Don Binns. You may recall that the two played together in a certain Vancouver band that achieved national popularity in the late ’80s and early ’90s, but don’t get the wrong idea. As the new band’s bio states, “Rat Silo doesn’t sound like Sons of Freedom, so give up that expectation.” What does Rat Silo sound like? For the most part, it sounds like stripped-down rock with blues-based chord progressions. Well, except for “Shut Yer Mouth Jimbo”, which doesn’t have any chords at all, just a clap-along beat and chanted backing vocals. Oh, and “I Don’t Care”, which comes across as punk rock slowed down to a heavy, funereal dirge. I guess that’s what happens when you treat a Ramones song as if it were written by Black Sabbath. So some of it sounds excellent and some of it seems as if it would benefit from a bigger budget and tighter production. But as the aforementioned bio warns, “Don’t expect the next one to sound exactly like this one.” Georgia Straight Jan 31 2008  

Live show reviews

Punk Globe review of Art Bergmann gig at Richard's on Richard's , March 26 2009
Punk Globe Rat Silo hit the stage & got the party started at Dix on Dix! This group is a molotov cocktail of ex-members of hit makers "The Sons of Freedom" & "Black Eye Buddha." The band may have been clad in suit & ties but rocking was their business…and yes,…business was good!!!Don (Bunny) Binns on bass guitar thumped out his "Killing Joke"-infected locomotion while giving the lovely ladies in the audience a visual carrot to munch on! Singer/Swinger Jim Newton crooned faves from Rat Silo's CD, "What The Butler Saw." Newton's lyrics stick with you like a bad smell that you can easily acquire a taste for, from "Get up go to work go home go to bed"to "Dirty Gir,l" & "Your Daddy Says I Got To Go!" Rat Silo succeeded in lighting a "Purple Jesus Sized Flame" on the Dix on Dix stage and got the hungry audience ready for the main event! There's also a couple of live pics there, and of course, a review of the main event—Art Bergmann. —Gerry-Jenn Wilson  
Review of gig December 7 2007 at The Bourbon
Cheap Thrills' Dec 12/07 Review Rat Silo, featuring vocalist/guitarist Jim Newton of Sons Of Freedom, and members from 54-40, Jackalope, Numb and and cover band Tainted Lovers, offered a fairly aggressive mix of groove and gutteral rock. They're more intelligent and thought provoking than most of what you hear on the radio these days in Vantown. Very much guitar-driven with a more imaginative brand and execution of lyrics. One of the standouts being Jim's enunciation of such words as 'far' and 'bar' and the inpactful pause before the last syllable of selected verses. Dressed in more formal ware, sporting a pair of glasses, Jim came across as having a slightly bemused reaction to the rather docile crowd. ( I was pretty much the only one willing to join in on the Rat Silo cheer.) The William H. Macy of Rock came to mind to my Radio Bandcouver co-hort , Arseniy. I thought that was fitting. A performer striving for something more understated and lasting, not the usual rock star type, vocally or lyrically. This is a good thing. Driving, dancible rock with some smarts is a welcome relief. On their myspace page, Rat Silo describes their music as sounding like the sound your heart makes when you eat a hot dog. This alone gives you the impression there's something to be further explored with this band. Watch for their album in January, and have a listen to them at: www.myspace.com/ratsilo. *Mark Bignell, with co-hort, Arseniy Vodopyanov, feeds the indie musical starved airwaves every Thursday afternoon from 2:30-4pm, on Co-op radio 102.7FM. Online from www.myspace.com/bandcouver *3 Chord Rebel Productions is a young and dynamic music promotion company born out of a burning desire to bring local/independent talent onto the stage and out to the world! www.myspace.com/gordberry  
 
 

Radio

The Great Northern Way

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Doubleplusungood

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What the Butler Saw

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