René Descartes famously said, "I think, therefore I am." But he was afraid to classify himself a "rational animal" because "then I should have to inquire what an animal is, what rationality is, and in this one question would lead me down the slope to other harder ones." Heady queries indeed, bro. Luckily, Rochester, New York, outfit Rational Animals don't require as much philosophizing. They play straight-up hardcore punk, in the vein of Black Flag or Bl'ast, but lean hard on the metal spectrum, too. The combo's music is filled with layered guitars and enough low, murderous growls to slap a shit-eating grin on Henry Rollins' mug. No doubt sick of such comparisons, the band's latest, Bock Rock Parade, crams in an even wider spectrum of influences, like the sludgy tempo of "If Only You Could Hear Me Now" and the static-charged guitar spirals on "Thought Debris." Don't mistake Rational Animals for simple caveman grunts, though. They want you to think, as the lyrics rage against the conformity machine. The band's entire discography is available on its website for free, the same price of admission for a night of rational revelry at Yucca Tap Room
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