Boomkat Product Review:
Rats Live On No Evil Star are an unusual duo, connected to that other notable palindromic experimental band, To Rococo Rot, in a roundabout sort of way: Bernd Jestram is a member of Tarwater, Ronald Lippok's 'other' band. A bizarre foray into post-punk/art-rock songwriting, the album centres around the work of J. Edward Donald, a writer of very strange music indeed, who occasionally lifts his lyrics from sources such as Anne Sexton, Aleister Crowley, Andre Herman Dune and Angela Bulloch. In describing all this, the label drops some confusing references to Ian Curtis and Daniel Johnston, getting a bit surreal at one point before disclosing some valuable biographical information on RLONES' band members: "The first time J. Edward Donald failed was in the basement of his family home of 70's suburban Chicago while trying to rollerskate; medication, doctors failed him, and family did, too. His first concert under the pseudonym Human Elephant was given in the winter of 2000 in Berlin following a short scholastic life of one year in the hills of Tuscany studying emptiness under the auspices of the (now late) venerable Geshe Jampa Gyatso. His artistic endeavors have been kindly documented by producers in London, Berlin, and Chicago and have been featured on various compilations, CDs, and 7"s. Three of his solo works are available through the Mexican labels of Scribble-Kite, Dog-Eared, and Umor. Bernd Jestram, a long-standing member of the East Berlin music scene, has been playing music since the 80's. Starting by playing bass in punk bands, he achieved later a larger audience with his fellow musician Ronald Lippok in the band Tarwater. He is also active in the field of radio-plays, music for theatres, and films. His music is mainly put together from fragments and still manages to remain utterly nonchalant in its complexity. It is detached and yet wholly engaging, repetitive but wonderfully melodic."