Rat Traps were a band made up of siblings Jeffrey and April Novak, along with Joe Simpson of True Sons of Thunder fame. The band existed in the mid 2000's and released singles on labels like Kenrock, Your Permanent, and Shattered (a label I've mentioned before in this column). Musically sitting somewhere between the Persuaders and the Reatards, Rat Traps played blown out, no-frills garage punk, and they fit in perfectly with their Memphis peers cranking out the same style of budget rock 'n' roll. The band was Jeffrey Novak's first foray into sitting behind the drum kit, but his sloppiness with the sticks lent to the band's half-baked aesthetic.
While Jeffrey Novak would go on to be in Cheap Time (and most recently Savoy Motel) and Joe Simpson would later play in bands like Sharp Balloons and True Sons of Thunder, this was April Novak's last foray into playing live, save for a few shows with the short lived cover band The Blue Birds. Rat Traps are a highlight in a very unique era for Memphis garage rock, back when Gonerfest was still in it's first years and Shattered records was making sure that regional punkers were getting their music released on vinyl. Check out a few Rat Traps songs below, and if you have a line on any of these singles, feel free to hit me up.
"____ Rules, OK?" is a new weekly installment on the Memphis Flyer Music Blog where Music Editor Chris Shaw focuses in on Memphis music past and present.