I'm not going to beat around the proverbial bush with this one, as they say, and I'll cut right to the chase for you. I had never heard ratbath before this cassette but I decided to take a chance and listen to it because not only is it on Fox Food Records (who I feel puts out quality sounds) it also came with a 'you are the universe' 'zine hand-made by Karlie Efinger (who is ratbath), a print of a poem by Becca Uliasz and a small surprise, which in this case turned out to be a lollipop for me.
The songs on here have an acoustic sound- maybe an acoustic guitar, but probably mostly based around the ukelele- and as such they remind me of something between I Kill Cameron and Heavy Boots, which is quite a place to be for someone I am hearing for the first time. It came as no surprise to me that when I went to find the information for this cassette on Bandcamp, after listening to it, that it would be sold out, but hey, you can still download these songs at a name-your-price option and be on the look out for future ratbath releases.
I feel like lyrically these songs are easy to relate to, but I'm not sure if they're just easy for me to relate to and if maybe they don't have that universal appeal but since I'm listening to it does it really even matter? The song "cereal box" is something I like because she does sing about a cereal box and, well, I kind of collect cereal boxes so there is this personal sort of connection there for me, like maybe I'm not the only one who does and this song could somehow bring us all together. Plus there is a Pokemon reference in that song as well.
What you have to understand about the songs on "dead skin cells" is that they are rather reserved. I don't know the person behind them in real life and I know that the person in real life versus the music they make can always be different anyway, but the music just makes me think of someone who is shy and quiet. But yet, at the same time, they're really saying something you should be listening to no matter how closely you have to pay attention to them.
I just think of that band that decides to play as loud as they can and yet their songs don't really say anything, you know, this is kind of the opposite of that. They are the type of songs which you may not hear often but when you do you can recognize them as being something special. In that way, I think of ratbath as being one of those people who doesn't say a lot- you know, not always out there running their mouth because they enjoy the sound of their own voice- but when ratbath does speak you should be sure and listen.