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Thursday, August 14, 2008

CD Review: Catfight! - In Stereo

Catfight! - In Stereo
2008 Brainstem Publishing
Ray Van Horn, Jr.

If you're an Underground Garage junkie as this writer is, you'll agree that American garage rock is hipper these days than a balanced federal budget. While the latter isn't liable to occur in our lifetime, at least the sound of three-chord yumminess and repetitious rock slides is quite the rage in a borrow-everything modern rock state.

Give Josh Homme a fair chunk of the credit for garage rock's return, but we should rightly well dip back to Redd Kross, in particular their vibrant Neurotica album from 1987 if we want to put things into proper alignment. While we're at it, we can add Husker Du, Mudhoney, Violent Femmes, Supergrass, The Pixies and The Breeders as a handful of transitional punk acts that helped pave the way for Fu Manchu and Queens of the Stone Age, as well as the scores of garageheads now cattle-driving the scene.

Of course, the new-wave-heisted success of The Killers and The Bravery has likewise rekindled the spark of a highly retro sound, at heart built in the British Invasion of the sixties. That being said, consider all of the aforementioned when coming to Catfight! and their five song EP In Stereo.

Featuring the duo of Bobby Rotten and Christine, Catfight! might be considered a far less sonic Raveonettes and certainly a more pop-driven entity. Coming off like Queens of the Stone Age on the abbreviated opening cut "Get It On" and even the opening licks of "Alone Today" (so much we get to hear the "Yeah yeah yeah!" delivered the same way as Queens of the Stone Age's "Quick and to the Pointless" from R though less one "yeah!" in Catfight's! case) before the song bobs back and forth gleefully like a backseat thumper.

Fusing a dash of mod into their new wavy "Ready Steady Go," Catfight! keeps a steady throb that eases into the louder wankfest of "Candy Cane," where Bobby Rotten wails like Billy Corgan without a concern for anything but a sugar fix. Using a main guitar lick that rides reminiscent of the melody of "Susie Q" from Creedence Clearwater Revival on Catfight's! "Sheila," the end note of In Stereo leaves it open for another quick spin and then another and then another...

In Stereo is an EP that grows on repeated play and given the fact it's over before it starts, it's easy to get acclimated to Catfight! especially with their perversely contagious garage tunes.

Rating: ***1/2


Anonymous said...

Excellent review!

Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

danke, and welcome, reader!