The Sewer Rats
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The Sewer Rats

Sioux Falls, South Dakota, United States | SELF

Sioux Falls, South Dakota, United States | SELF
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"Profiles In Sound"

November 2010 Issue Page 19

Two seems to be the most representative number for Sioux Falls rock band The Sewer Rats. The "Rats" formed just over two years ago with the original two members - brothers Dan and Mike Nissen. In 2009, they released their first album, "Save Yourself", and in 2010, they doubled the lineup with the addition of Curtis and Lex Linton. Now, the group is busy with local and regional shows, and is currently working on their second full-length album, which will hopefully be released at the beginning of next year.

Although it will be almost two years between albums, Dan promises it "may be different sounding stuff, but the same ol' Rats." The most obvious change is the input of two members, each who bring a unique aspect to the music. The first Rats album was written and recorded with just the Nissen brothers, and although the second album is also writeen in majority by the two, Dan admits that the Lintons added their own flair to the record.

"Most of the stuff MIke and I already had written," said Dan. "But [Curtis and Lex] brought in great instrumentation that's a little different than how we may have recorded it alone. Having them track drums and bass brought a whole new fell to [the record]."

The Sewer Rats are busy finishing the album, and are working on plans to do a tour after the release. With a polished rock sound and a clear presence in the local music scene, the group is also looking into possibly finding a bigger element to help release the new record.

"With this second album, we're going to try a little bit harder to find a label to put it on," said Dan. "We've got some music done so we can show [the labels] what we're working on, and hopefully get some backing."

With a label deal or not, it's no doubt the new album will be a great addition to the Sewer Rats discography, and the next stip inthe group's long-term carerr. After all, though they have only been around for two years, their music will - as they put it - "continue 'til the rest of our lives."

The Sewer Rats will be performing at Nutty's North on Nov. 6 with openers Ben Weaver and Joey Ryan and the Inks. The sow is open to 18+ and doors will open at 9 pm. For more information, visit www.collectiveeffortsunion.com.
- 605 Magazine


"Brotherly Bond: The Sewer Rats Stray From Other Sioux Falls bands, Come Together to Build Strong Freshman Album"

Brotherly bond: The Sewer Rats stray from other Sioux Falls bands, come together to build strong freshman album

Even before rock band The Sewer Rats' debut album has been released, brothers Dan and Mike Nissen already have their second album written and ready to record.

Starting the original band one and a half years ago has unleashed their creativity. On the band's first album, "Save Yourself," the brothers played nearly all of the instrumentation.

That made the planning process and studio recording more time consuming.

"It took awhile to get it all orchestrated down to what was going to be happening, since there's only two of us," says Mike Nissen, 21.

"We just had to pore over our songs a bit more and really put them under a microscope and make out the orchestration," says Dan Nissen, 25.

The Sewer Rats will play a CD release show Wednesday. The Good Life, which includes singer/songwriter Tim Kasher from Cursive, also will play.

Just because The Sewer Rats are a duo doesn't mean they lack the musical force of a full band. Mike Nissen is classically trained and plays instruments like the Rhodes piano, violin and guitar. Dan Nissen plays instruments like the clarinet, drums and xylophone.

The Nissens both have played in other Sioux Falls bands, including The Smoke & Mirrors Bands. The brothers say they left the band to have more control over their sound.

"You have four or five band members; sometimes the band only needs two. What do you do then? ... Sometimes, it's easier to make a very stripped-down rock and roll song. Sometimes, all it needs is an acoustic guitar and vocals," Dan Nissen says.

Tom Davoux of Sioux Falls recorded the album and played drums on a few of the songs. The Nissens played in the band Rifflord with Davoux. The album has a number of introspective songs, including "A Gold Digger's Paradise" and the title track, "Save Yourself."

"I think a lot of people can take something from the lyrics (of "Save Yourself"), depending on what's going on in their lives," Dan Nissen says. - Argus Leader


"The Sewer Rats Include Former Madison Resident"

The Sewer Rats Include Former Madison Resident

Emmeline Elliott

Find music, food and friends at the Madison Area Arts Council’s street concert, The BrickHouse Bash!

Nearly a year ago MAAC moved into what is now called The BrickHouse Community Arts Center. Volunteers of MAAC have worked during that time to create a singular arts facility in Madison that is accessible to artists and area residents through various programs.

In celebration of the upcoming one year anniversary, MAAC is hosting The BrickHouse Bash! on Oct. 8 at 6:30 p.m. at 106 S.E. 2nd Street in Madison.

The BrickHouse Bash! is an outdoor concert featuring the bluesy, rock and roll band The Sewer Rats, with special guest Jack Rollins, a folk musician.

The show is free and open to the public. All ages are welcome to the family friendly atmosphere of The BrickHouse Bash! Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets. Refreshments will be available for purchase. The event is non-alcoholic.

The Sewer Rats include Madison High School 2002 graduate Lex (Nagel) Linton, along with her husband Curtis Linton and the band’s two founding members, brothers Dan Nissen and Mike Nissen, all of Sioux Falls.

The Nissen brothers formed The Sewer Rats about two years ago, Dan Nissen said. The Lintons joined in February of this year.

The Sewer Rats have one album, called “Save Yourself,” and hope to release a second album by early 2011, Nissen said.

Nissen and Lex Linton both counted bands like Velvet Underground and Tom Waits among their musical inspirations, as well as their assortment of musical backgrounds in jazz, blues, reggae, rock and classical.

On their Web site, www.reverbnation.com/thesewerrats, The Sewer Rats say their style is “stripped down, basic rock and roll. With a wide variety of instrumentation, their sets keep audiences guessing. Recollections of dark bars and everyday people, their lyrics suggest a hope that shouldn’t be lost.”

All of the band members can play a number of instruments, Nissen said, which lets them take their music in many different directions.

“We’re not locked to one instrument, so the possibilities are quite a bit more,” Nissen said.

The Nissen brothers are the singers and songwriters of The Sewer Rats.

“I always appreciate Dan and Mike’s lyrics because they’re very colorful and descriptive,” Linton said.

Linton said she’s excited to play a show in her hometown of Madison.

“It’s a really interesting community with its growing support of the arts,” Linton said.

Nissen will accompany Jack Rollins at The BrickHouse Bash! Nissen said Rollins plays some of his own bluegrass, folk style music and some traditional, “old American music, songs that’ve been around 100 years.”

The BrickHouse Bash! is part of MAAC’s ongoing monthly Chautauqua Series. More information about The BrickHouse Bash! and other community art news can be found right here on our blog, our facebook page, and our twitter feed.
- Madison Area Arts Council


"The Sewer Rats: Local Blues/Rock Duo Mix Grit with Grace"

February 2010 pg.20

Save Yourself Album Review
Four out of Five Stars
By Roman Black

Before the last decade shut it's door, local blues rock 'n' rollers THE SEWER RATS dropped the dynamite album "Save Yourself" that will suffice all who are cool for years to come. The duo are brothers in blood and rock.

Dan and Mike Nissen are their names and they just want to rock 'n' roll rolling. Influenced by the gritty grace of Tom Waits and the deep but very different, blues sounds of Robert Johnson and Canned Heat, the Nissens' sound can rival any major label group all day long.

The opening cut "If I Care" brings forth images of a crazy, yet fun carnival where burdens are few but heavy. If you have not heard this band yet, let me suggest track five, "Drunkard's Blues." The sounds is precise, and the blues laden grooves and words dare to be resisted.

The echoing sizzle that is the title track leaves you hopeful for the future with lines like "I will never tell you why, I will meet you in the sky." The closing track "When the Reaper Comes" slowly clanks along like any finale should by asking "what and why" when at death's dark door.

All these songs are stories told through solid lyrics. The overall impact of this record should be a proud one for the Sioux Falls scene.


- 605 Magazine


Discography

Their Debut Album, Save Yourself, was
Released on December 30th, 2009

2nd Album is set to release in Spring of 2011.

Photos

Bio

The Sewer Rats began as brothers Dan and Mike Nissen. In early 2010, Lex and Curtis Linton joined the band on bass and drums. Born and raised in the Midwest, each member’s wide array of influences and musical training show through in the music they play. Although The Sewer Rats are fairly new to the scene, each member has been playing music in Sioux Falls, SD for quite a few years.

The Sewer Rats style is stripped down, basic rock and roll. With a wide variety of instrumentation, their sets keep audiences guessing. Recollections of dark bars and everyday people, their lyrics suggest a hope that shouldn’t be lost.