The Rats (American band)

The Rats were an American garage punk band from Portland, Oregon, formed by Fred Cole previously of the garage rock band, The Lollipop Shoppe. Cole played guitar and sang, his wife, "Toody" played bass and sang, and initially Rod Rat played drums.[1] Their sound was a raw mix of punk rock with occasional country touches. Their self-titled debut album appeared on Cole's Whizeagle label in 1980.[2] Soon after, Rod Rat left the band, though he guested on the 1981 follow-up Intermittent Signals before his death by suicide. (Prior to his suicide Rod Rat (aka Rod Hibbert) also played drums in 1980-81 for Portland power pop band Domino Theory). Sam Henry, formerly of the Wipers, played drums on this LP but left to join another Portland band, Napalm Beach.[3] Louis Samora was on the drum throne for the 1983 album In a Desperate Red, still on Whizeagle. Samora left in 1984 to concentrate on his rockabilly band, The Jackals. The band broke up, but Bill Barker of Profile Studios in Vancouver, British Columbia convinced the band to reunite for a single. It appeared under the band name The Desperate Edge later in 1984. Soon after, Cole assembled a country band, Western Front, and he and Toody later reunited in Dead Moon.[2] The Rats' records have long been out of print and sell for high prices on eBay. In 2008, Portland's Mississippi Records reissued the first album on vinyl.

The Rats
Also known asThe Desperate Edge
OriginPortland, Oregon, United States
GenresGarage punk
Years active1980–1984
Associated actsThe Lollipop Shoppe
Dead Moon
Pierced Arrows
Past membersFred Cole
Toody Cole
Rod Hibbert
Sam Henry
Louis Samora

The two-part song "The Rat's Revenge" - which appeared on the first volume of Back from the Grave - was performed (some 15 years prior) by a different band under the same name.


  1. ^ Blasengame, Bart (July 21, 2009). "The Ballad of Fred and Toody". Portland Monthly. Retrieved June 12, 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ a b Rogers, N. (January 10, 2019). "The Rats :: In A Desperate Red". Aquarium Drunkard. Retrieved June 12, 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ Carson, Nathan (December 27, 2016). "Portland Punk Lifer Sam Henry Looks at 60". Willamette Week. Retrieved June 12, 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)