“The Ratter of Dale” EP

By Dr. Abner Mality

Strange things lurk in the Arkansas backwoods. Voices whisper in the trees and ghosts speak in the babbling brooks. To capture the essence of rural weirdness, we have COUNT BEETLE, a rather indescribable project that seems to be of another time and place, the creation of one Teddy Horse.

I wouldn’t call this a rock n roll sound, but rather an extremely sparse and eerie acoustic style based mostly on the naked sounds of a non-electric guitar. What drives this into unknown realms is the bizarre vocal stylings of Mr. Horse, who’s singing is an inhaled groan that sounds like a corpse trying to chant. The vocals sometimes almost choke themselves in gasping exhaustion, at other times they have a kind of cadence to them. Without these strange tones, the project is nowhere near as distinct.

Here we have five stripped down tunes with odd lyrics revolving around rats and spooklights. We are introduced to “Dale Foots”,  who tells of “The Ratter of Dale”,  “Rattus of Boiler” and finally “The Brains of Rats”. These are obviously linked in some curious way. We also meet “Roy Cecil and the Fireball”, which is a supernatural tale of spooklights. All are pure, lean acoustic with that uncanny vocal style.

As always, it’s true outsider music that fits no main “genre” and should be praised for such.