Friday, March 18, 2011

Son Cats on For Arbors For Satellites Records

Oh Shit, Son Cats are from Portlandia... by way of a new label out of Southbury, CT?
Ahhhh, but they are a duo, the exact same makeup as the Hussy as a matter of fact, Alex on guitar and Jasmine on Drums. Jasmine also did the cat sleeve logo (for some reason at a quick glance I kept mistaking this for So Cow) But this is no Snacks, instead, teeth barred and sunglasses you're looking at an alley cat - a blues cat even. He almost looks even happy?...or is slightly electric.

'O'Dell' on the A-Side just has a real honest casual home recorded sound. It's straight ahead banging rock, no added layers of texture, just get a pretty decent way to capture the sound and hit record. Cymbals and kick are the driving force. They keep switching up this rhythm in only a way a duo can do, big chords with a real dirty crunchy distortion to them, swapping out for the jangly electric to belt out the vocal. I'm starting to think this O'Dell they're talking about might be a missing cat?
O'Dell where have you gone?

Alex especially takes it into a psyche place here with an eastern sounding solo towards the end. It's the freakout interlude that happens inevitably on a road trip. That cat stumbles into some nip one night.
You have to work harder to get this sound as a duo, to fill in the space. There's nothing to hide behind, those big blue riffs have to come from somewhere. Everyone's looking at you to make it happen.

'1971' on the B-Side finds Alex playing a subtle blues scale groove with Jasmine's jazzy backbeat. He comes in story singing vocals minimally about 1971 of course. Jasmine comes in with a weird catlike yowl harmony. A real big rock distortion screams in for the chorus of course, they don't build the tension like this to not have that release of a blues solo take over. The rhythm gradually builds to double time and Jasmine has to watch it playing along with the changing dynamics. They take it one step further adding a warm Rhodes organ psyching the whole thing up. This one is my favorite of the two, playing with a weird harmony vocal, the two of them working together, building the garage blues sound through psyche influences, that I wonder what other paths they might go down.
1971, and Son Cats themselves are a reinterpretation of this eccentric past. Neon cars and Elvis. Even by then they were nostalgic. That's where you get the psyche from, blending eras without a grasp on reality all the past all those icons are interchangeable. You can carry a blues track into the garage and then on an acid trip. Like John Spencer Blues explosion, the references get blurred, the actual date doesn't matter. What you remember, or better yet, what you think it was like becomes an entirely new thing.
Son Cats has that modern nostalgic combination that resembles a very specific past that never happened - all cool, fidoras and mirror shades and play a tie dye guitar.

Super neon graphic print on heavy cardstock with inserts on black vinyl from For Arbors For Satellites.

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