Music / Features
Track by Track:
RAT!hammock - Pam
Words by James Lynch
Monday 23rd October, 2017

Despite being RAT!hammock’s first release, their debut EP Pam finds the band in very strong form. It’s an excellent heap of crooked alt-pop, packed with jangling guitars, endearing vocals and warbly 90’s production, and serves as a perfect introduction to a band heading towards impressive things.
Late last month, Melbourne garage-rockers RAT!hammock launched their debut EP Pam to a sold out room upstairs at the Gasometer Hotel. The sudden success might seem somewhat unlikely considering Pam is only their first official release, however it’s no fluke - RAT!hammock’s debut showcases a fully realised band with a very developed and distinct style.
From the wirey opening chords of Blood to Bruise to the intensity of Mud's outro, Pam is a cohesive collection of lo-fi pop tunes, filled with jangling guitars, 90’s inspired weirdness and frontman Jackson Phelan’s unconventional yet poignant lyrics. We caught up with Jackson to find out what goes on across the EP’s four tracks.
Blood To Bruise

"I remember writing this one just after reading A Clockwork Orange. I was really taken by Anthony Burgess’ ‘nadsat’ language in there and how the connotations of certain words could imply feelings in an abstract way. So the lyrics are influenced by that crazy book. Fun fact: this tune contains both my favourite lyric on the whole EP and my most cringey instant regret lyric, if you can guess correctly, I’ll let you write the next record... "

Love You Til I Die

"This was originally a country tune that I wrote lightheartedly about caring for someone who can be a pretty shitty person. But knowing that we’re all shitty people so it’s kind of fine and sometimes when people treat you badly that’s life and you don’t neccesarily have to take your feelings so seriously. It’s a live favourite, probably cos it’s got one of those ‘stop’ entrances in to the chorus."

Mary the Chair

"I always tell people that this a love story between a table and chair, but it’s kind of not really. I guess to be completely honest it’s more about emotional dependancy. The feel is influenced by The Shaggs and in the studio after a few takes of playing it like a BIG almost Weezer-y sounding rock song, it just wasn’t happening. Our drummer Jack suggested we play another take but all try to actively play it a bit shitter than we had been playing it, no surprise it was just what the ol’ rock doctor ordered. "


"Mud is my favourite song on the EP, which came out of nowhere. In my head I always imagined this song sounding like the Juno soundtrack, which it absolutely does not. It definitely took the longest to mix and has the most overdubs (there is very few on most of the tracks) but when it finally came together we were so stoked to have the EP finish with the big outré like it does."

Have a listen to Pam above, and head to RAT!hammock's Facebook page to keep an eye out for their next shows.