Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Deathcats - All Hail Deathcats - Track by Track Review

Lovers of cats, makers of scuzz DIY punk rock.  What is not to love?  Deathcats have been receiving lots of love from Scottish Fiction over the past year, and rightly so.  I'm a massive fan of their DIY attitude towards recording and releasing music, having got four tape releases under their belts, and working with local indie labels such as Fuzzkill Records and Electric Company.  Pounding forward, marching relentlessly, the time has come to revel in reverb glory with Deathcats debut album All Hail Deathcats.  I caught up with lead singer James McGarragle, sunning it up in Spain, for an intimate and cosy look at the album.

1) Solid

This song used to be entirely different.  It was like 8 minutes long and sort of sounded like a late 80s emo song.  We realised it didn't fit at all with the other songs so took the one main riff we liked and turned it into something new.  We usually start our sets with this song as it´s pretty upbeat.  Lyrically it´s just about having someones back and sticking by them, being 'solid' for them.


I wrote this song in one night messing about on Garageband and posted the demo online straight away.  I didn't even think the other guys would like it or would want to play it as it was pretty different from what we were playing at the time.  I'd say it's our only love song to date and probably has the catchiest chorus.  It's about the sexy people who make you feel high.

3) Jaguar

This is the last song I wrote for the album.  I wanted one more sort of pop tune for Side A.  I came up with the song fairly quickly but had no idea about lyrics or a name so it´s just named after this really funny Danny Devito quote from It´s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, hence the sample at the end.

4) Melted

I definitely think this is one of the more 'garage' tracks on the album.  A lot of folk call us a 'garage' band which I´m sort of uncomfortable with but I suppose this has quite garage vibes.  The lyrics are just about being really fucked up.  Me and Keppie (Ross Keppie from Fuzzkill Reocrds) got really fucked up together one night and were lying together on the floor and it felt like we were melted together.  We were listing our 'Top Five Bands' of all time and it took about two hours to get to number two.

5) Saturday Night Golden Retriever 

This is the song with the most ridiculous title on the album.  Our drummer's girlfriend once said something on Facebook and I was in a stupid mood so started commenting loads of things that rhymed with it and 'Saturday Night Golden Retriever' was one of them.  I had just wrote this song and it was called Say Something and straight away I knew that this was a ten times better name.  The song is about people who make all these grand plans that never materialise which I think most people are guilty of, especially right after they leave university.  I'm very guilty of it and it causes me a fair bit of anxiety.

6) Danny Dyer

This is the first Deathcats song I ever wrote.  I was playing in another band and knew that this song wouldn't suit what we were doing and therefore wanted to start something else, therefore Deathcats was born.  I still really enjoy playing this song and I think we've only ever dropped it once from a gig.  The song is about the whole lad mentality when it comes to sleeping with girls on nights out.  How some guys will take advantage of totally drunk girls or the whole mindset that a girl's a bit easy if she has a one night stand but it's always high fives if it´s a guy.  It's not such a big issue when you're older but definitely something that was prevalent when I was at university and went to a lot of shit club nights.

7) Dissertation

This song started as a riff that we used to mess about with in practice and then we fleshed it in to a whole song.  It was written around the time the three of us were all doing dissertations at university.  For anyone who has done a dissertation they will know how stressful it is and I think the intensity of this song represents that horrible feeling.  It's just a big sort of "fuck this" in the form of a three minute song.

8) Alligator

This song is another example of a random riff that I came up with in practise evolving into a full song.  As is always the case with these songs I usually piece together the lyrics really quickly and they are always nonsense.  I just liked the sound of the word alligator and therefore I made the rest of the lyrics about someone who was wild.  Ca raze eeeee!

9) Comin´Up

I wrote this song when I had been listening to a lot of Black Flag.  It took us a solid 3 hours of practice to get it dialled as the main riff is pretty hectic.  If you have ever been trapped in a night club toilet when you have been 'comin' up' then this song is most definitely about you.

10) Troll Toll

When we play out of town we're usually in the car for a couple of hours at a time and we usually listen to any of the first five Black Sabbath albums on repeat.  I came up with a total Sabbath rip-off to end one set with when we wanted to do something new.  We had a bit more time than we thought in the studio and decided just to record this for a laugh.  It turned out pretty well and we decided it was a pretty rad way to end the album.  Yet again the lyrics are total bullshit and another reference to Danny Devito's character in It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia.

Deathcats - All Hail Deathcats is out on Monday 9th June via Fuzzkill Records.  You can stream the FULL album via the widget below.  Pre-orders of the 12" vinyl are available directly from here.

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