Thursday, February 10, 2011

KITTEN - on The Control Group

This plain sleeve single came in from KITTEN the other day, not an easy name to research on google, at least when trying to stay focused on seven inch reviews, and I couldn't help but think of another charismatic frontwoman, Chan Marshall and her pet project, Cat Power. Possibly an ode to the inspiration, or an early incarnation, the similarities don't end there, She's got a huge voice and drives both of these tracks with that same intensity.

Their A-Side, "Kill the Light" has a booming tom drum line under muted power chords providing an about-to-explode tension to showcase Chloe's formidable voice. They continue to build a pretty epic guitar line the song reaching higher and higher peaks, matching her vocal energy. All breathy and emotionally heavy, when she gets to belting the chorus, she's still got more left somehow. There's a freight train quality to this track, like 'Maps', with the repeatability and power indie leanings, or something off PJ Harvey's raw Rid of Me. It's equally as produced, working the range of dynamics, bringing the instrumentation back down for Chloe to near whisper just before she devastates the chorus again.

The B-Side, "With a Whip", the (garage mix). I was expecting to have been recorded in a garage, maybe some kind of demo, but instead they're really teasing this song out with all kinds of breaks and changes in percussion or tempo, a little dirtier sounding guitar, plenty of effects, the phaser/distortion. Vocally I can't help but hear the Karen O sounding, grungy, screeching of someone with an insane amount of control and talent singing about this this Kitten character full of contradiction. Not at all what she seems. Not unlike Chloe herself.
It's also going to surprise you, as it did me, that she's 15.... or maybe 16 by now, and based on the songwriting and vocal skills here, she's just getting started.

You can get one of these from the bands website, Insound or if you live on the west coast, she's in the middle of a lengthy tour over there and I'd bet these are at the merch table, but tell her this one deserves a proper sleeve.

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