Weeping Rat – “Deal With the Devil” (Stereogum Premiere)

Australia’s Weeping Rat plumb a dark and murky nexus of goth, post-punk, industrial, and darkwave, and you’ll get the vibe with a quick listen to “Deal With The Devil” — despondency and leather, basements and fog machines. While Weeping Rat’s Tar often finds itself in decently weird and sometimes psychedelic atonal territory, “Deal With The Devil” steers pretty straight. The song is propelled forward by a driving beat, itself nestled on a bed of lush bass, and the jangly guitars on top land this one more in the darkwave camp. The distorted drums give the track some muscle and an aggressive stance, too, lending a sense of resolve to the decidedly morose lyrics — not to mention a hook to potentially move your feet to. It’s a departure from much of Weeping Rat’s earlier output of deathrock and minimalist industrial, made when front man Jacob Rolfe was going it alone, and it’s a shift that will likely turn more ears without sacrificing Weeping Rat’s compelling weirdness. Tar was originally released last November via the Australian label Damned Gates, but it’s getting a domestic reissue via Handmade Birds, and the new version includes five bonus tracks, “Deal With The Devil” among them. Listen.

Tar is out 2/24 via Handmade Birds.

Tags: Weeping Rat