Lucy and the Rats – Girl 7-inch

Artist: Lucy_7inches_artwork-page-001_1_largeLucy and the Rats
Single: Girl
Label: Monster Zero / Dirty Water Records
Released: June 13, 2016

Onstage Lucy channels the toughed-up sexiness of Suzi Quatro via Kurt Cobain’s plaid shirt drawer. It’s a strong look, no messing around, and this hotly anticipated debut single is just as suave.

Don’t let the black denim and punk swagger fool you. We’re dealing with some seriously catchy power pop hooks here. The guitars are jangly and the vocals are sweeter than sweet, but don’t get too giddy – there are claws in the details. She might sound like butter wouldn’t melt, but Lucy will take your man, smile a dagger and write a pop song all about it. And it’ll be stuck in your head for weeks against your will. Beware.

I wanted to ask if the eponymous Girl was a real person, who she is, whether she’s still “calling on the phone,” but I didn’t want to spoil the story for you folks. So I asked about the Rats instead. Oh boy.

“Well it’s Rats because Mike was actually born with a tail,” Lucy said. “Not an actual one but yeah, his spine was too long and came out like a small tail. He had it removed as a kid, but we like to give him shit.”

Well that’s an image that won’t be going anywhere for a while. And now I’m imagining a tiny amputated tail in a dusty jar filled with formaldehyde, sitting casually on Richard Hell’s Art Deco writing desk. “Nice piece of tail,” he mutters to himself for the third time that day, putting out a cigarette in the palm of his own hand and looking searchingly into the darkening New York evening. “You’re a funny guy, Richard,” he says to himself, not smiling, the room as empty as always.

But anyway, back to the review.

Girl is dreamy pop punk as essential to life as drinking water or Netflix. It’s addictive. It’s taken me forever to write this review because I keep going back for Girl snacks in between meals. It’s perfect for summer. It’s loaded with sunshiny feels, but there’s always that razor’s edge lurking in the background like the wasp on the ice cream at a BBQ. A sting in the tail, you might groan.

So I played it to Richard Hell over Skype and he loved it. He said it gave him “spine-shivers in the midday heat.” Then he picked up his tail-in-a-jar and gave it a little shake for luck and went for a run. He’s super into fitness, and he plays Lucy and the Rats on his first generation iPod as he goes round Central Park. What can I say, the man’s got good taste.

-Jody Porter