Song of the day: Ratcat – "That Ain’t Bad"

Here’s Ratcat with “That Ain’t Bad” (1990):


Mix The Ramones with The Lemonheads and you have Ratcat. You also have this song which did a nice job in 1990 of cleaning out the loudspeakers of radios all over Australia. One thing I really like about the song is that when the guitars kick in, they’re filthy – and then, as the song progresses, they keep getting filthier and filthier until you start thinking that you may have blown your radio’s speaker because you played the song too loud. “That Ain’t Bad” went effortlessly to number one courtesy of its irresistibility. (One reason I like living in Australia is that you can have a song like “That Ain’t Bad” sitting at number one on the charts – and have it in high rotation on the radio.)

Ratcat were a one-hit wonder. Actually, that’s not strictly true. Ratcat had a second single that did fairly well, but nowhere near as well as their first, before the band disappeared – so technically they were two-hit wonders. I don’t know if this two-hit wonder thing is an exclusively Australian trait, but it’s been very common throughout the history of Australian radio, and it’s happened plenty of times to international bands as well (e.g., Right Said Fred‘s “I’m Too Sexy” followed by “Deeply Dippy“, and The Proclaimers‘ “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” followed by “I’m On My Way“).

“That Ain’t Bad” is a song that needs to be played at maximum volume.

As a bonus, here’s a live version with an incredibly enthusiastic crowd of teenage girls screaming and singing along to the song. It’s fabulous:

Ratcat – “That Ain’t Bad” (Metro Choir Mix) (live) (1990)


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