Young people are amazing. They're the leaders of tomorrow; the exciting ones of today with unfiltered enthusiasm and vibrancy. With an average age of 20 this band is knocking on the door of adulthood, but instead of accepting the inevitable, they're leaving a flaming bag of faeces on the ground and running away. If you associate youth in music with pop-punk and white socks pulled up high, then this debut EP from the predominantly Staines-based five-piece will come as a surprise.
The name might not be familiar, but the heritage certainly should be. Cats And Cats And Cats follow DiS old-timers Youthmovie Soundtrack Strategies and The Edmund Fitzgerald into this homegrown melting pot of math- and post-rock. A 'scene', if you will, which has gone through a refreshingly non-London gestation period and emerged from the stately womb of Middle England.
Starting with a phrenetic burst of clangy guitars and schizophrenic drumming; 'Happiness' explodes with instrumental prowess. This is them puffing out their chests with only bloodied fingers and an aural exclamation to show for it afterwards.
After being given two tracks to settle into the idea of a challenging instrumental record, Ben George adds his atonal delivery to the mix. His not-quite-on-pitch vocals come off as ill-prepared at first when compared with YMSS' Andrew Mears' gut-wrenching tones. However, one should not be so quick to judge and dismiss as they turn out to be the perfect accompaniment to the frenzied background. 'The Green Room' stirs and stirs with chords and words colliding until the tension rips a hole and breaks down to a good minute or so of crackly electro and broken delay pedals.
The only negative points that could realistically be levelled at this recording are that the lyrics seem a bit too detached and dreamy at times (but then, when have post-rock lyrics ever made sense?) and that the duplication of the first track for the closing one is a little unnecessary, but really these are minor niggles.
'Victorialand' represents a thoroughly solid opening statement and a shot well taken. Cats And Cats And Cats play with conviction, maturity and composure, but also with youthful energy and a tendency to clatter you around the head and not apologise about it. With ten gigs under their belts already and plenty more planned for early next year, these lot are definitely ones to watch.
8jonathan fisher's Score