Throw a stone in Milwaukee and you’ll likely hit a show from one of the city’s busiest bands, Rat Bath. The self-described “queer y’allternative” group (lol that’s good) has been a fixture of the Milwaukee music scene since 2021 or so, delighting showgoers with and intoxicating moonshine blend of backwoods punk and bluegrass. The group’s debut full-length, Rat From Hell, was one of our favorite local releases of 2022. And now Rat Bath is back with one of our favorite releases of the summer, the snarling single “Scale Of The Fish.”

Rat Bath says the song “boils down to one simple feeling: to be in love with someone who does not want to be loved back.” Singer Fred Kenyon is wonderfully bitter here, half-growling lines like “Hair of the dog, scale of the fish / Every morning two shots to make it another day,” and “I’m drowning in a tub full of cheap cognac / It tastes just like you do / That was always your favorite pick-up line.” The cognac-drowning comes to an end at the 1:30 mark, however, as the track’s spiteful stomp gives way to a full-blown cow-punk rave-up. “Oh I know I’ve got so many places to go,” Kenyon sings/accepts. “I’ve got so much more to live for, though you always were my favorite big fish.”

“Scale Of The Fish” was recently released on a split with another busy Milwaukee band, Pescatarian At Best. You can see Rat Bath live this Saturday at Center Street Daze, later this summer on our Bay View Bash stage, and probably 17 other times between those shows. Catch them as often as you can. No fishing license required.

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Cleanse yourself in the chaotic goodness of Rat Bath’s “Bone Eater”

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Co-Founder and Editor

Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's east side.