so a month on the nose from when i saw the shoppers at bartertown, im back in GR again, this time for cloud rat! the evening began with a drunk dude asking for beer and stumbling around proclaiming his italian heritage loudly ("HEY, IM SICILIAN YOU GUYS! IS THIS WHERE THE BEER IS AT?") first up was chumm who suprised me by playing really good dual vocalled hardcore/grind....ive seen so many of these bands that they all blur together and it has long since ceased to move me emotionally, but these dudes were proficient..........next up were the dirteyes (still dont know if im spelling that right) im pretty sure they were from buffalo and on tour with water torture....anyways two dudes playing 70s influenced fuzz sludge.....i know there are alot of people who dig this stuff but i unfortunatly cant say im one of 'em.........their set was pretty short and before i knew it water torture was setting up.........another two man bass/drums combo from buffalo, they were considerably better than dirteyes (at least in my eyes) and played harsher, dirtier grindy sludgy stuff....their last song was the highlight of their set when madison from cloud rat joined them for a thick sludgy number with her vocals obliterating everything in their path.......they did a seige cover, which is always a plus in my book.........didnt get to talk to them unfortunatly but did record half their set........good band ..........after water torture's set came the highlight of my night.......the band/people i specifically came to see/support (although you should see/support all the bands and i did, but cloud rat is just special for me) took the floor...........i remember the first time i crossed paths with cloud rat........i saw that they were playing the same show as black kites/zann last summer............i remember saying out loud "who the hell is cloud rat?" and "what the hell do they play?"............i didnt know what to expect then and i still didnt after i had seen the 'kites and zann rip everyone a new asshole at that show.......i was talking to john from zann when they started setting up, we stopped talking and went up front to check this band that i doubt either of us had ever heard at the time.........from the first chord i was blown away......just a huge pissed off whirlwind of noise with this blond(at the time) girl fucking roaring and running into people......i was hooked.........for some reason i didnt get to talk to them at that show and im still kicking myself for not introducing myself sooner..........anyways i got their lp and the splits and fast forward a year later to find me loudly proclaiming this band as the best in the state.........anyways they did not dissapoint this time either........ive found that unlike many many grindcore bands who seem to follow eachother down the same musical path, eschewing emotion for gore and sadism and putting out cold robotic recordings full of textbook blastbeats and gargled vocals, cloud rat infuse their brand of grind with real, raw, extremely personal emotions....theres no gore or satanism to be found here, just songs that seem to be intensely personal, not just the lyrics but the music too is where that emotion shines through and it makes their sound all that much more magnificent and amazing..........their set was one of the best things ive seen this year....right up there with the shopper's set from a month before........to top everything off, they are amazing people! madison is so sweet and awesome and rorik is fucking awesome too......i didnt get to talk to adrian but im sure hes an awesome dude too.......also met the drummer of the oily menace/shattered badge who was an amazing awesome dude too, i forgot his name already though =( brandon, who i think set up the show, deserves mad props too, as does this dude named sock who was another amazing person i met that night.....dude(s), if you have computers or access to computers, get at me! all in all, it was a wonderful show and i cant wait to reconnect with all the new freinds i met down there again..........loved all the little things that happened from talking briefly with a girl with short black hair who reminded me of winona rider, when i was talking to madison (i dont know if we were introduced, but i hope we get to talk again!) to madison hanging out of the drivers side window of their car yelling "KEEP IT GRRIND!" (or something similar to that) at me when i was walking back to my truck....i loved that! anyways everyone was amazing and i left with a really good feeling that continues to this day...........my message to cloud rat is, you guys WILL be sleeping on my floor at some point, i will do whatever needs to be done in order for that to happen..........i love each and every one of you guys (and gals) and miss you and hope that its not too long before i get to see you all again soon!