"Haunting folk noir melodies!"—PASTE MAGAZINE
Son of the Velvet Rat is the alter ego of songwriter Georg Altziebler and his wife Heike Binder, who a decade ago left their hometown of Graz, Austria and the cloistered safety of the Continent for the endless highway of America. They came to rest in Joshua Tree, on the edge of California's Mojave Desert -- an alien, alluring landscape that no less than Neil Armstrong once christened the closest to that of the surface of the moon.
This spectral, off-world character has finally found purchase in their jagged folk-pop melodies and forbidding ballads, infusing the cabaret traditions of Old World masters like Georges Brassens, Jacques Brel and Fabrizio De André with the Old Testament prophecy and Kabbalistic visions of Townes Van Zandt, Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan.
On their new album, Ghost Ranch (Fluff & Gravy Records), drum loops and saloon piano, violin and cicada drones, hanging chimes and pounded metal combine to create a jittery soundtrack for all the true believers and false messiahs, county fairs and shooting ranges, feral banners fluttering atop battered pickup trucks, and the roadside carnage of an accidental police state ratcheting into focus. All delivered in what fan and collaborator Lucinda Williams once called Georg’s “great sexy-gravelly voice,” leavened by Heike’s translucent harmonies, like desert roses circling a tattooed heart.