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Improv vampirism could only incubate in the 21st century alp of manure that is New York City, capped in glittering glass prizes as it is, yet woefully propped up by generations of busted and hollowed out gentrified carcasses. Samantha Riot, a native of the Queens borough, seer and doer of things you pretend to know about, hemorrhages diseased verbiage from the vantage point of a malevolent Last Poet. Her poetry lacerates the otherwise agreeable contract you have with consumer sensation, intruding upon your orifices with salacious tales that feel you’re about to be suffocated into one of real shock, not the fabricated stuff of our daily feeds. “If you stay here long enough you too will be baptized by filth and shit and disease, just like a rat in this glorious rathole.” Samantha spits.


Isaiah Richardson Jr., flanks Samantha's left, a scholar of wind instruments so skilled at his craft he can skewer Brötzmann one moment, and Charles Gayle the next. He's a consummate professional and yet, as uniquely unconventional as anyone who’s taken to the troubadour’s life.


Richard Lenz, flanks Samantha's right, with a battered guitar seemingly desecrated and destroyed into splinters every set, only to be resurrected for the next with extra wood and nails. The tone he squeezes out possesses strains of No Wave and it anchors the entirety of the band's skronk and jacks the upper register voyages straight back into the sewer.


Phillipp Scholz, pummeling his drum kit into submission, flinging a pair of sticks, that usually end up somewhere across the room sticking into someone's eye.


What you have here is what'll be referred to in the hereafter as the classic Rodenticide lineup: Samantha, Isaiah, Richard & Phillipp. It’s the one that turned every NYC venue they’ve played during the past two years into shards of broken glass, bleeding skin, and very broken hearts. “You’ve never heard such sounds in your life” has been an aspiration of far too many slinky pretenders since the high water marks of ESP-Disk’, but like a cluster of talon toothed insects looking to chew out your corpuscles, Rodenticide is nonpareil. Romanticize the excesses, avantisms and de-tuned combustion of the past all you want, I can't stop you, but there’s a perfect storm brewing here and now.


Tony Procaccino

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