NYC’s the Rassle make tsunami-sized pop melodies meant to drown everyone from the front row to the nosebleeds in a syrupy sauce of irresistible hooks. These guys write anthems for fist-pumping and back-slapping. Channelling all the good parts of hockey hair-era U2 mixed with the cell phones in the air gravitas that has become Arcade Fire’s bread and butter, the Rassle swing for the fences with every chorus. These Austin transplants have a Texas-sized love for New York City and their music reflects their home state’s swagger tailored to the bright-lights-big-city possibilities of their adopted hometown. On stage at Union Pool in Brooklyn, any potential too-cool-for-school attitudes were checked at the door. From the first note, class was in session with the Rassle leading the discussion.
Blair and Reed Von Nort are the brothers behind the band. Imagine if the musical precociousness of the Von Traps was mixed with the piss and vinegar of Get In the Van. The initial batch of songs were crafted in a living room with a $50 microphone and a laptop, the ultimate distillation of today’s DIY ethic—not just releasing your own records and booking your own tours but having a hand in all the means of production from the ground up.
Like other sibling acts Bleached and US Royalty, the Rassle weaves together threads of America’s rock ‘n’ roll past. Elements of power pop mingle with big ticket arena rock (the good kind) and the strand of modern indie rock that has thoroughly buried the idea that under the radar rockers are afraid of their own shadows. The Rassle write punchy, memorable songs that put them in the company of MGMT and The Vaccines. Not too shabby for a band that just popped out of the bedroom a little over a year ago.