Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Cattle Drums - The Boy Kisser Sessions

The best description I've heard of this album is that it sounds like if At The Drive In if they played punk-pop instead of post-hardcore. The debut ep by Cattle Drums The Boy Kisser Session is filled to the brim with nonsensically obscure poetic lyrics, constantly changing songs and guitars that go from raging to melodic and back on a dime.

It's absolutely impossible for me to choose a favourite song because they all show a different side of the band and are almost all uniformly awesome. New Furniture And Wigs starts out with just a riff and drums that grab you and make you pay attention while the last third of Who Punched Pat Moore's Face has obscure lyrics over top of shifting guitars that focus on alternating between aggression and melody. Borvg The Nag kicks your ass for barely two minutes and is followed by Two Pigeons an acoustic song with both shouting and a xylophone. There's a video of the band on you tube doing Two Pigeons on someone's back step that is as close to a literal definition of awesome as I've seen.

Most of the time I have no idea what the lead singer is going on about. But that is most certainly not a bad thing. He is constantly shouting nonsensical things like “I got a bone to pick with you bout Stacy's bloodline, it's cutting out, what's that about, what's that about” which only add to the energy being created by the band behind him. He creates such a sense of urgency that it doesn't matter we have no idea what he's singing about.
The only bad song comes exactly in the middle and the only reason it's bad is because it's so slow. The lead singers shouting loses its urgency and comes close to being a whine. Usually the choruses come out of nowhere, smack you in the face and spin you around but on Sluts And Coconuts you can see it coming a mile away.

Musically speaking this album is fairly standard. There are bits that are very punk pop with lots of energy that make you want to jump up and down while singing along at the top of your lungs. Other parts make you want to start a pit and smash everything and then there are also parts of incredible beauty. The combination of these three disparate parts and the ease with which they shift between them is one of the things that makes this album so interesting. The ability to do any one of those things with any skill would be enough for a great album. The ability to do all three and combine them into a coherent piece is one of the things that really grabs me.

Starting off with nothing but a drum beat then a simple bluesy riff New Furniture And Wigs is bound to grab your attention. After about a half minute the piece escalates with an all over the place melody being chased by the guitar that continues 'til the guitar drops out the and the lead singer starts shouting. Eventually the guitars come back in and the song ends as a post-hardcore rager that never really forgets the melody.

If you're not into energetic, emotional and interesting music that refuses to give up or reveal its secrets then you won't like this. But if music with cryptic lyrics, songs with unorthodox structures that are written with obvious care for the art form then hopefully you'll find this as addictive as I do. Easily one of the top 5 ep's of 2010, I await new material with bated breath.