After numerous years of cranking out original rock and roll with a particularly rapid bent, King Rat has officially crossed the threshold into grownup-ness. That's right, the band was founded in 1994 by Luke Schmaltz -- 21 years ago. Schmaltz has systematically been forcing beer into the faces of his band mates for what could be considered two decades of contributing to the delinquency of a musical minor.

Never mind the actual age of the band members. We are talking about the age of the band itself as an entity here. It would seem that this is a little-policed sector of illegal consumption that has somehow been overlooked by the law and swept under the rickety back porch of society's haphazard gaze.  What this means is that there are thousands -- if not hundreds of thousands of bands getting blackout blotto between gigs in a fringe practice that is clearly occurring outside the confines of the law.

As most bands never clear the two-year mark much less the two-decade mark, this is an issue that has yet to come to the forefront of public attention. In a unanimous online vote, all currently active punk rock musicians have agreed to ignore the actual age of the band they are in and operate strictly as free agents, taking full and sole responsibility for the brunt of their drinking practices. Although bands like NOFX, Pennywise, Bad Religion and yes, King Rat can legally drink all they want by way of legal concession, all bands under age will have to consume at their own risk and resist the temptation to blame their bad behavior on the booze.  

Legal infractions, citations and jail time notwithstanding, King Rat has vowed to encourage the practice that has stood them in good stead for their entire existence. They will actively encourage all bands in their circle of influence, regardless of age, to engage in imbibing band behavior. This liberating albeit illegal tradition serves to bring band mates closer together, make otherwise horrific gigs tolerable and to provide ample lubrication during the song-birthing process.

The foursome will even loiter around the proverbial liquor store of rock'n'roll,  secretly offering to buy suds and swill for fellow bands who are not yet 21. As more bands mature to legal drinking age, society's anti-fun watchdogs will sooner or later pick up on the scent of stale beer and raw music -- looking to shut down one of the last remaining wellsprings of pure unadulterated art born of boundless energy. Yet for every underage band they pursue, behind their backs two will be coming of age ... waving the torch at burgeoning bands and keeping the fire alive.

Would you like a taste? Here's Don't Blame it on the Booze by King Rat ... it's song 8 on this free playlist!