Describing themselves as “part pop and part misery”, I figured Cat Matador’s The Address was going to be a release I would like. The essence of pop bated misery always intrigues me and upon hearing the tangible post rock aura entwined with an interesting art form of haunting folk floating eerily over the many collated guitar pedals, I realised that it was only on a longing whim that the EP was one for me to fall in love with.
I was disheartened to find that I wasn’t able to get past the first listen without falling short of interest. The choral husk of singer Liam Martin feels slightly detached from the music and he tends to labour his notes which is where the songs lose the emotive grasp I braced myself for. This is accentuated during the stripped down openings of songs, ‘The Address’ and ‘The Family That Couldn’t Sleep’. The songs in general are full of good ideas though they never completely come together. When it builds, we don’t get lift off.
The second half of the record suggests that this is a band who are more than capable of creating an intriguing and bewitching sound. Both songs are a lot more tender than the first two and showcase the band’s strength in combining the interchangeable nature of the epic grandiose with haunting rituals of what I long this band to be about. ‘We Can Change’ is a truly magnificent closer, alluding to the bands influences – British Sea Power, Broken Social Scene, Jonquil and The Twilight Sad.
When they get back to the drawing board, I would love to see something more epic and innovative than this safe guarded coming-together. They have hints of promise. I would go even further, they actually show hints of brilliance, and for this I give them credit. Cat Matador clearly have apt song writing ability, but it just hasn’t materialised in this EP.