Chandos’ shtick is a fairly familiar one these days: taking the DIY essence of playing house shows (Boston in this case), bringing that energy, spunk and spirit with them to the studio and then funnelling it through a tidied up, pop-leaning record. The result is a record that sits bang in the middle between pop and punk (whilst of course always giving giant nods to ’90s alt. rock and grunge).

However, the trouble with ‘Rats in Your Bed’ (the band’s first properly produced release, following a string of obligatory cassette tape EPs) is that it sits too comfortably in the middle of this crossroads; it lacks the hell-for-leather abandon and feverish intensity of an explosive guitar record and yet it neither really fully embraces the pop sensibilities that it so clearly relies on in these songs. So, what’s left is a fairly routine and forgettable churn. It’s not without its moments: sparks of taut considered material such as ‘CREEPWOLF’ surge and lift the record but the overwhelming feeling when leaving the album is that of uninspired repetition and familiarity.


More from