Thursday, July 10, 2014

Kitten Forever "Pressure" double 7" on Guilt Ridden Pop Records

The first single from the Coathangers was abrasive, snotty punk. It was a ridiculous (Don't touch my shit!) loose mess that sounded like the most fun you could have while sounding like a bad ass. Mostly attitude but crafting rough punk that had to be taken seriously. You can hear the influence of Bikini Kill or Be Your Own Pet but they didn't have this sense of humor and bite. This Minneapolis trio, Kitten Forever just put out a full length in the form of two seven inch singles on Guilt Ridden Pop.

A-Side's "Get Loud" has all three of them chanting 'We've got nothing to lose' in this call and response circling the wagons, this is how this record is going to play out. It's a battle. Just drums in a Foot Village homage and the perfect intro to Kitten Forever. "Cry Baby" leans on a scuzzy bass line like Death From Above, singing like distorted Kim Gordon with that post punk distance, massive feedback comes rising out of the depth, heavy tom strikes, like primitive punches, repeating 'D R U N K / are you ok?' It's a serious question. Just genius lyrics, not too worried about the details, this is the big picture and those real moments. The tom snare beat takes over every note of this is a force."Little Beasts" Liz Elton on another track half singing launching into a dirty punk vocal. The subtle politics here give this extra depth while being rocked. "Rat Queen" Laura on vocals, bashing snare and short bursts of repetitive looped guitars, spitting vocals, drop down to no effect bass and a bubblegum garage 'wooooo'. Back and forth from hard and heavy into quiet, there's that chance to reflect and try to remember what these guys are called again?. They compliment each others styles and even more impressively switch instruments every track. Like Love Is All or White Lung completely going for this hard punk sound with tons of melody and attitude.

On B-Side's "Mission Statement" the feedback drops into a muddy underwater baseline that oscillates between treble heavy scratchy and opaque. Completely not self conscious they want to make out all night but are sick of the bullshit, sick of you. "Blood Song" sounds more experimental they create a huge muddy mess. This path is twisted and tangled until reaching this angelic chorus and a moment of peace - it doesn't happen often with these guys. Fix the speakers and brace for impact. Handclaps and a cappella, these guys are sounding better and better and the volume dial keep creeping past the line for the neighbor. "Famous Friends" they won't let go of this energy, more chanting, talky vocals from Corrie this time, since they've completely swapped instruments again. They manage to come up with that same energy without things getting too comfortable. It's not going to be easy to play live, keeping the setlist in order of who's on what, but maybe they swap depending on what night or city they're playing. It's just plain bad ass, they know the material back and forward and it's got to force them to keep this simple and raw.

C-Side's (it wasn't enough that they put seven songs on a single, why not go for another six!!?) "Double Disco" is brutish and primal, a blueprint for bands who just had their first practice. GO for it, loud with as many changes as you can manage. Blow out the PA because they need to hear this down the street. "Black Ice" Liz on vocals here is a little more delicate working in a melody over a tom and bass, but I should have known this was just to catch you off guard until the feedback distortion forces itself in. Muffle the drum track and this whole record seems to be devolving into some kind of Wire meets Young Marble Giants, minimal but fast, loud and catchy. On "Dirt Nap" we have the usual elements we've been talking about this whole time but somehow this could be a different band. The Yips for god sake, blown out, completely dirty but reaching for this gleaming shiny pop ring. That Beat Happening style vocal, confessional and homemade but screaming at the top of your lungs. This keeps going in surprising directions. I love the Yips so much and this sounds exactly like Bonfire in a Dixie Cup, shit I love that record.
D-Side "Diamond Ring" launches right into a lyric about picking up the phone, they always get right to the point with washes of a fucked up humming guitar. To the point and experimental punk? How did they know exactly what I wanted.
"Prey On" - It's like they just can't help themselves, with bass lines like these they better just keep things going. Maybe like that youtube video of divorce playing under a bridge they capture that crazy energy in every one of these tracks. I hope they have a couple songs left for their next record. What am I talking about? I love this deliberately out of tune vocal. Really dirty bass, they play with the room spaces a lot for weird tones, the guitar, everything is in the same room bleeding all over each other in the best way.
"Pressure" is like Sleater Kinney in melody but they cram a lot more vocals into their two minutes. fJust like Charlie Sheen must have felt like when he was snorting buckets of coke in that interview. Larger than life, making insane grandiose claims that no one else even thought of. I'm sure they can pull this off - wait, they just did.

On fluorescent pink and orange vinyl with essential pink lyric insert from Guilt Ridden Pop Records.

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