Band Watch: Leeds, England Indie Rock Quartet China Rats


China Rats are a four-piece indie rock band from Leeds, England, that the U.K. press has been hailing as the next Arctic Monkeys, even though they haven’t released a debut album yet. What they have released is a three-song EP and a single; what little they have released is creating quite a buzz in the U.K. The young, edgy lads of China Rats know how to write, create and record good music that gets people’s attention. The band members are inspired by a mutual love for songs that use elements of punk, rock, 50’s pop and British Invasion classic rock of the 60’s. Their sound feels like a wedding of The Kinks‘ early day panache with a Ramones-era anarchy, topped off by a good dose of Cheap Trick‘s legendary sassiness. China Rats’ sound has also been compared to bands ranging from The Beatles to the Buzzcocks to Oasis and the most recent wave of garage rock-influenced bands.

The band’s fast and furious pace is tied together by jangly guitar hooks and bombastic drumming. The band only formed two years ago, but got a good deal of positive press last summer when they filled in for Bat For Lashes when Natasha Khan and company were unable to make it to a U.K. music festival. The members of China Rats are Graeme Thompson (lead vocals/guitar), Luke Smith (lead guitar/vocals), Jedidiah Allcock (bass/vocals) and George Riley (drums). The following track, “She Never,” is one of the band’s few released tracks; it’s a hook-heavy, melodic rocker with a catchy riff, swaying rhythm and rambunctious vocals.

“She Never”China Rats from To Be Like I EP

A newer single, “Nip It in the Bud,” is an energetic, fast rocker with crunchy guitar riffs. “We wanted it to sound like The Sonics or something, rough around the edges,” vocalist Thompson said. “It’s got a bit of a groove to it – I’d like to think people could jive to it in a club or before they go out.” The band’s latest single from the Leeds UK band, was produced with help from Hugh Worskett (Boxer Rebellion, Crystal Fighters) and mixing by Chris Sheldon (Foo Fighters, the Pixies).

“To Be Like I”China Rats from To Be Like I EP

“Take No Prisoners”China Rats from To Be Like I EP

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