Cattle Drums

The Boy Kisser Sessions + 3

Written by: DR on 30/06/2011 20:08:26

From Oneonta, New York, this band with a name like Cattle Drums, a debut EP titled "The Boy Kisser Sessions", and an album cover as ridiculous as that is probably going to grab your attention - not least because of how unusual it all is. Well, that's because from their choice of album artwork right down to the ideology behind the music itself, Cattle Drums are all about the unusual.

In fact, their first sentence in their press sheet is "Remember when indie music was wild and unpredictable?". Cattle Drums apparently do and have based their sound on those times. The music itself brings together folky, Southern-Americana acoustics and the off-kilter aggression favoured by a lot of post-hardcore bands popular around the turn-of-the-century, but always treads the line between those styles, making it hard to pigeon-hole. To get your mouth-watering, consider that considerable influence is drew from the likes of Bear vs Shark, At The Drive-In and mewithoutYou.

Vocalist Sam Judd has a spoken-word-quickly-turned-to-barking style, reminiscent of Marc Paffi (Bear vs Shark) but even more so of Aaron Weiss (mewithoutYou). What's more, he's managed to adopt this technique whilst maintaining his own character and without sounding like a cheap imitator. Acoustic songs such as "I Know Who Killed Me" and "Two Pigeons" give Judd plenty of space to dominate with his typically opaque song-writing and his ability to switch intelligently between shouting and spoken-word vocal styles without ever seeming like he's screaming his head off for the sake of it, and he never, ever compromises on passion.

The most interesting and appealing aspect is how damn infectious "The Boy Kisser Sessions + 3" is. That isn't something that wouldn't usually be associated with this genre, but songs like "Who Punched Pat Moore's Face", "Just The Right Height" and "Sluts and Coconuts" have an optimism, a pop-y edge and so much energy that you can't help but get swept away by them.

You probably haven't heard anything quite like Cattle Drums before. They marry eager musical experimentation with the familiarity of their influences, resulting in "The Boy Kisser Sessions + 3" being a release that will grab you suddenly, but it will somehow only truly yield itself the more you listen to it. Is this what happens when bands become fed up with the "the mundane of the daily grind"? And if so, this reviewer is hoping for more bands to become fed up!


Download: I Know Who Killed Me, Two Pigeons, Sluts and Coconuts
For The Fans of: mewithoutYou, Bear vs Shark, At The Drive-In
Listen: Bandcamp (free download!)

Release Date 22.02.2011
Tiny Engines

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