Last updated: 11/29/2003 01:00:07 AM
Once upon a time, in a land not far away, four pieces of scum, bound together by circumstances not beyond their control, hatched a hideous, diabolical plan to fuck with peoples' heads by defiling the conventions of modern music through dischordance, non-existant chord-progressions and irregular tempo changes. SICK of constantly seeing bands around them pathetically trying to pander to the whim of the masses, our four fuckwits locked themselves in the unused function room of a South-East London pub and went to work...
Make no mistakes; Labrat's music is brutal. Labrat hit like a bulldozer, trampling over anything that lies in their path, irrespective of the outcome. The music careers wildly through a visceral, racketeering vein that has served Raging Speedhorn so well in recent months. This is not music for the faint-hearted, not in the slightest.
With a handful of line-up changes along the way, the four-piece formed around London, three years ago. Once a more permanent line-up had taken shape, the band set about laying down tracks for their debut record. The result was the 'Theme For A Downer And Anthems Of Rejection' single- released in 1998 on Fear Family Assassins Records. The metal music press jumped on the record like a pack of starving hyenas, united in their general adoration and appreciation for the harsh, belligerent sounds on display.
A short tour of the UK beckoned following the single's release, as Labrat left a trail of destruction and caused a near-riot amongst 400 people at their show in Rugeley. Cardigan-wearing, floppy-fringed, lily-livered wimps sitting on stools with acoustic guitars pining and moping, this lot are not.
Much of 1999 was a flurry of activity. In March, the band appeared alongside Napalm Death, Iron Monkey and Medulla Nocte on 'Slayed In Britain', a Rock Radio Network feature intended to highlight the metal scene in the UK and was broadcast to over 250,000 listeners worldwide.
Another turning point for the band was their gig in May at London Borderline; it was an opportunity for the band to see just how widespread their popularity was. Later on in the year, Labrat would go on to outsell Tairrie B's latest band My Ruin in Newcastle.
Over the next year, much time was spent writing new material and honing their raw skills both in the rehearsal room and on the live circuit, playing anywhere that would have them. Tracks appeared on numerous compilations including 'Phuelled By Farmaceuticals' on 'Century Media Blitz 2' and most recently on Visible Noise sampler 'Visibility' with their song 'Merrick Sympathiser'. The track features abrasive guitars, almost primal growling and speeded drums whipped into chaotic frenzy with skull-cracking consequences.
In February 2000, Labrat were joined by Freebase for a handful of manic dates in Ireland. Leading on from the success of those dates, in the summer, the band organised a DIY co-headline tour of the UK with Subvert. A thousand copies of 'Homegrown Brutality', a spilt CD of the two bands was pressed up by Noisebox Records, and subsequently sold out.
More gigs with Skinlab, Raging Speedhorn and Earthtone9 have done nothing if not expand the band's growing legion of fans who are equally- if not more- enamoured with Labrat's brutal intensity as the press.
Due to personal differences, original singer Rob McAuslan left the band in April 2002. The band then drafted in not one, but two new growlers in the shape of Jamie Farrell (ex-Tangaroa/Sceptre Of Piss) and Martin Ives (ex-Morose) and are stronger than ever. Recent dates with Mistress, Cathedral and Rock Bitch have proved this. And their debut album 'Ruining It For Everyone' gained much critical acclaim in the British metal and rock press upon its release in May this year.
Labrat are about as subtle as a neon sign, and about as delicate and fragile as an elephant dancing on a bed of daisies. The word extreme doesn't even come close. Labrat are coming...You have been warned...