CD Review-Rattletrap Ruckus-Redlight Rag

I and by extension, the magazine, has always been a fan of any project of Lucas Hicks. From his days in Pacer (they graced the cover of What’s Up!’s fifth issue) to Jill Brazil to the Gallus Brothers, The Shadies and Rattletrap Ruckus – if Lucas is part of the music making, then there’s nearly 100% certainty that it’s good. And not just “oh hey, that’s good,” but “ummm… wow, that incredibly interesting and amazing.”

So with that in mind, it comes as no surprise that this reviewer thinks the new Rattletrap Ruckus album is amazing. The band’s first release, which features Lucas primarily on accordion, Casey Connor on tenor banjo, Clea Taylor cello and Jenny Rose laundrophone (plus guests) is haunting, mysterious and absolutely beautiful – their haunting gypsy sounds and dark waltzes can make accordian music feel sexy. At times, it almost feels as if the only thing missing are Tom Waits’s graveled vocals – the music would fit in perfectly with his most gypsy inspired songs.

There’s an air of mystery to Rattletraps music, as well as an air of history.  None of the songs feel modern in any way, the listener is transported to a different time – whatever imagery is in their subconscious. For me, I landed in turn of the century Europe, in a café full of artists, smoking, drinking Absynth and creating new movements.

What also makes this album so incredible is that Lucas had a hand in writing half of the songs – they fit in seamlessly with standards written 100 years ago.

The music isn’t for everyone, in fact, I’d say there are a small percentage of people who will be intrigued by their music, but those who are will fall head over heels in love with it. A simply superb record.