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Happy Birthday, Ratboy

by Ratboys

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C C
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C C The end breakdown of the reworked "The Stanza" has me shook; I didn't think it was possible to improve such a beautiful song. Favorite track: The Stanza.
Sam Baguley
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Sam Baguley Every listen feels like the first time. Chilled and versatile. What's going on with the guy on the cake? Favorite track: Down the River.
straumli
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straumli This is outrageously good music-making for floating on air. Favorite track: at 39 is annie the oldest cat.
theboywiththedinosaurtattoo
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theboywiththedinosaurtattoo Ratboys are old af. You're telling me they started while I was still in Elementary school 😳 Favorite track: Space Blows.
Norm Fischer
Norm Fischer thumbnail
Norm Fischer The Ratboy Zine that comes with this is worth the price of admission! Favorite track: The Stanza.
dafzuka
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dafzuka This is such a treat. Thank you for re-recording these gems for us,and happy anniversary! Favorite track: Intense Judgement.
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  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      $7 USD  or more

     

  • Live Stream Ticket

    Join Ratboys in celebrating their 10th Anniversary with a brand new live performance and retrospective film airing on April 29th on Bandcamp.

    Filmed and recorded on the floor at Schuba’s Tavern in Chicago, Ratboys transformed the club into a cozy living room for the show, evoking memories of their earliest, most intimate D.I.Y. performances.

    Watch as the band performs songs from across their discography and as they reminisce on ridiculous tales from the road, meeting by chance, and time spent growing into their sound.

      $10 USD or more 

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Happy Birthday, Ratboy - on a disc

    Includes unlimited streaming of Happy Birthday, Ratboy via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 3 days
    Purchasable with gift card

      $10 USD or more 

     

  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    First Press (out of 813)

    Includes unlimited streaming of Happy Birthday, Ratboy via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    shipping out on or around April 16, 2021
    edition of 813  8 remaining
    Purchasable with gift card

      $18 USD or more 

     

  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    First Press (out of 298)

    Includes unlimited streaming of Happy Birthday, Ratboy via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    shipping out on or around April 16, 2021
    edition of 298  44 remaining
    Purchasable with gift card

      $18 USD or more 

     

  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    First Press (out of 411)

    Includes unlimited streaming of Happy Birthday, Ratboy via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    shipping out on or around April 16, 2021
    edition of 411  30 remaining
    Purchasable with gift card

      $18 USD or more 

     

  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    First Press (out of 500) - comes with a copy of the HBD, Ratboy Zine, printed in Chicago

    Includes unlimited streaming of Happy Birthday, Ratboy via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    shipping out on or around April 16, 2021
    edition of 500  17 remaining
    Purchasable with gift card

      $18 USD or more 

     

  • Cassette
    Cassette + Digital Album

    black shell, yellow ink - HBD, Ratboy

    Includes unlimited streaming of Happy Birthday, Ratboy via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

    Sold Out

1.
The Stanza 03:28
I have a history of loving all the wrong guys In high school we studied Stalin, said I love that guy But, I am cursed, oh yeah I’m cursed alright In high school we studied Marx, yeah he had pretty eyes I wonder why And where we have to go Where do we go? I have a tendency of biting my nails when I’m bored I sit on my computer for nothing, writing “I’m so bored” But, I am trapped beneath my bed, oh lord I sit on my computer for something to occupy my time I wonder why And where we have to go Where do we go? I have a penalty that I like to pay at night And in high school I got yelled at by one of the wrong guys But, I am first, oh yeah I’m first in line In college someone told me that I have pretty eyes
2.
Close my ears Eyes go down the river Lights are clear They’re working to catch my view Walking down the shore I’m trying to meet New Hampshire But, New England is mean I really wish that it weren’t true Left a six-pack of Heineken on her grave The world can hardly wait Take my meaning And throw it in the river If it drowns I guess it’s not a witch I love to dream Of her breath of heaven ‘Cause life is not a maze It’s just a straight line ending in a ditch Left a six-pack of Heineken on her grave The world can hardly wait Can the preacher Ever really reconcile me? ‘Cause my sins They reach so far and wide And maybe hell Maybe it’s just a waiting room Or maybe it’s a place Where the cowards run and hide ‘Cause all I know is that I left a six-pack of Heineken on her grave The world can hardly wait
3.
I know it’s sad when friendships die away But, it happens to everyone every day Putting on lotion on every inch you can reach of your skin You give me such an impression, I surrender, you win On the 2nd of July, I stumbled my toe It was 2010, and my brother was in Mexico I followed you up and then down in the land of the Cherokee You told me a story of a woman, oh she was tortured so badly My sunglasses magically turned my eyes into microscopes I used these new powers to cross-section tiny seeds and dying hopes We were located atop a tunnel above Interstate 64 We silently let all the cars pass, and one honked its horn But, an intense judgment came o’er my face This is neither the time nor the place You disrupted my beautiful afternoon Afternoon, to you too
4.
Key 03:36
I have a key It unlocks a door I pay attention When looking for When looking for Oh yeah I do Walk backwards slowly Pretend to commit a crime My body’s nervous Pores windy bleeding light They’re bleeding light Oh, it’s hot tonight I’d love to vaporize With you tonight ‘Cause I have a key It makes things right It makes me right I’m so light Yeah we’re alright Oh, I have a key
5.
at 39, is annie the oldest cat on the block? i fixed her a bowl full of food unfortunately she did not a tail it’s wagging on the block she stares at all the parking lots a girl cries out, “my cat, she’s 40!” annie stares, i flick her off
6.
Space Blows 01:45
Everything is louder now Everything is louder now Everything’s loud Everything is louder now The stars are finally hitting the ground The stars are finally hitting the ground Take in the sound All over town, they’ll be running around Cry your feelings off the shelf You’re gonna paralyze yourself Take my hand I’ll take you back to where you started The cries of the people in pain Are not what they explain I’m not gonna cry No I’m not, not now Everybody’s quiet now Everybody’s quiet now Taking my hand Making no sound
7.
Collected 04:16
If you could walk the earth and never draw breath Would the fear come and try to arrest you? Your fingers slowly fell off like a raindrop Stop. Don’t play it louder than you really need to ‘Cause if you cry at the smallest comment Your feelings will have been in vain It takes some time to really want it To know and to be something is the same thing Every day I dream of 58 And how it’ll be so nice to finally have some answers And if I know the G scale at the same point I will freak and weep so hard I’ll fall over But if my time was faster than a bullet At least I spent it sitting down I washed my hands clean as you stood and Dialed the knobs on your bass amp If the sounds follow where you run to Within the ground, into your head Running after something that’s above you Will probably cause a ragged heart rate And tell me how your body and your breastline Made a mark on what you made If faking exhales feels like undressing Then maybe the key is to relate Take your life a dime for a dozen Put it in the pot of what he said About your self, what it was and wasn’t How does it feel to be collected?
8.
Well, I had a theory That everything lovable was far away Please give me one more semester My professor of anatomy Now that the hot flame is gone And all of our clothes are on I guess I’d say It’s time to cacao Move your pillow off my shoulder Face me and look me in the eye Now your lips are barely parted Lean into me like the tower Now that our hot flame is out You’re all I think about Enough’s enough Cacao to Cacao
9.
Have a Heart 03:35
I saw a woman in my window She was fair as the days that came and stayed the same And if you ever would have left her I’d tell you that you should be ashamed ‘Cross the forest I knew all too well Sitting at the foot of her bed with eyes Crying themselves out with impatience For the eagle to fly back home Give me a second with the arrow We must go straight there and not reply Your face is nothing, do you realize The power of your foolishness? Do not reply It could never be true of our love Sit down use your head and have a heart To cry for the slander you have made up To flee from the structure you have maimed Take one last sweeping look now ‘Cause we are going to stay the same
10.
Every current song Was sung during the past There’s no way to describe The amount of people I’ve seen Staring at the traffic light Forgetting that they can be seen Lovely moments of the past I sing about them currently. Follow me back where we were When everything was right And we were humming, and our mouths were dry We didn’t say it, but we liked when 18 was the age of walking in And doing things you couldn’t Do when you were younger, you were dumber But, you’ll be older soon. So, give me a nod and some time to look around I’ve found that nothing is sacred And how ‘bout Edward and his 88 fingers? Jaws on the floor, I’d say he’s made it

about

10 years ago this April — April 1st to be exact — Chicago’s Ratboys put out their first collection of songs. The RATBOY EP, consisting of five indie-folk dorm room recordings, was free to download on Bandcamp and humbly passed around to friends on social media.

Cut to 2021, and Ratboys would normally be celebrating their 10-year anniversary on the road, playing a mix of songs from their very first release to their most recent, last year’s critically-acclaimed Printer’s Devil. Instead, just two weeks after the album’s February 2020 release and mere days before heading out on their first headline tour, the COVID-19 pandemic forced all touring to a halt. Despite not being able to play in-person shows for the past year, Ratboys has managed to stay busy by performing their music online via their own Virtual Tour series and by finding a different way to celebrate their first decade of being a band.

Lots of time at home last year gave Ratboys a chance to hit the studio, which has led to Happy Birthday, Ratboy, a surprise party of a new album featuring 10 brand new recordings of the band’s earliest songs + a newly-written bonus track entitled “Go Outside.”

Released as a surprise on April 1st, 2021, Happy Birthday, Ratboy comes 10 years to the day since the release of the band’s first EP. New recordings of the 5 original RATBOY EP songs make up the A-side of the record, with 5 new versions of rare college-era tracks and the newly-written “Go Outside” on the B-side.

Featuring mainstays from their live show over the years, including “The Stanza'' and “Space Blows,” pressed to vinyl for the first time and given the full band treatment, Happy Birthday, Ratboy introduces new Ratboys fans to the band’s beginnings while also raising a toast to those who’ve been there from the start.

credits

released April 1, 2021

Guitar, vocals - Julia Steiner
Guitar, pocket piano, ukelele, lap steel - Dave Sagan
Bass - Sean Neumann
Drums, percussion - Marcus Nuccio

Rhodes on Track 4 - Evan Loritsch
Violin on Track 9 - Mallory Linehan
Cello on Track 9 - Lizzy Jordan
Pedal Steel on Track 11 - Pat Lyons

Produced by Ratboys & Adam Beck
Recorded by Adam Beck at Type One Studios & by Ratboys at home
Mixed by Jason Cupp
Mastered by Kim Rosen

Cover photograph by Johnny Fabrizio
Band photos by Sam Porter

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