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Fuzzy indie rock excels
CAT-A-TAC - Past Lies and Former Lives
Review by Andy ArgyrakisDenver's self-proclaimed "fuzzed-out rock-n-roll experiment" CAT-A-TAC may just be dropping its official full-length debut, though it comes on the heels of EP exposure and early radio reception. The project already spent two and a half months on CMJ's Top 200 charts, also landing heavy airplay rotation on WOXY and KEXP (which named "We're All Gone" a song of the day this summer). The band also scored a slot at the recent Monolith Festival at Red Rocks Amphitheatre (alongside the likes of The Flaming Lips and The Decemberists), along with the event's subsequent compilation CD.
Aside from churning out a fuzzy yet friendly indie rock sound on Past Lies and Former Lives, the group has a knack for solid songwriting sensibilities, coupled with the occasional branching out with noise rock abandon. "Needles and Pins" (which previously appeared on a *Magnet* new music sampler), starts off the disc in welcoming fashion, weaved around low-fi but clean production and a sparse acoustic jangle. The title cut follows up with similarly warm pacing and melodic prowess, possibly appealing to fans of The Shins or The Decemberists, though not nearly as polished.
The band explores its heavier side on the distorted electrification of "Burned" and later with "Powder," breaking beyond shoe gazer status and thriving under additionally arty nuances. In fact the disc's generally appealing dynamics don't drop off until the final track "Jesus Won't Save You and I," which drones out as a drowsy and nondescript forgettable ballad. Blunder aside, CAT-A-TAC provides a generally inviting landscape loaded with indie appeal that's likely to blossom with additional time on tour, in turn exposing the group well beyond is already established regional reach.
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