Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Album Review - Deathcats - All Hail Deathcats

Back in the autumn of 2012, the now defunct Queen Jane frontman James McGarragle got in touch with a couple of demo's for a new side project he was working on.  That project was called Deathcats, and the tracks he sent were admittedly rough around the edges but bursting with energy and promise.  From the Shred Or Dead demo's,  I Wish It Was Summer  went on to be included in 2013's The Raddest EP, a triumph in fuzzy surf pop and the bands first collaboration with Fuzzkill Records.

Fuzzkill have stayed backing the band, and on 9th June released their debut album, All Hail Deathcats, on 12" vinyl and download.  It's a partnership that has worked well, partly down to both parties DIY ethos and belief in the music they love.  From those early demo's, Danny Dyer  remains, nestling in midway through the album.  It's beefed up production and the guttural yelp from McGarragle show just how far the band have come in a short period of time. 

The album starts of with Solid,  a track that high fives surf-pop bands like Wavves and Best Coast, and includes a sweet little guitar riff.  A solid (pardon the pun) album opener which tees up nicely for DREAMZ with its "woo oohs" firmly planting a smile on the listeners face.  A fuzzy, catchy love song and a highlight of the album.

Released as a video and single, and it's clear to see why, Saturday Night Golden Retriever  is the album stand out.  Three minutes of hardcore, youthful, reverb fun, than in a live setting is guaranteed to induce crazed dancing.  It's the perfect embodiment of what Deathcats are about.

Melted draws in some of the bands other influences, think Pixies and Black Sabbath, pulling things to a more garage rock sound rather than the pop sun drenched surf vibes evident elsewhere.  Dissertation also has a harder, rockier feel, with scratchy guitars and distorted vocals providing the layer of fuzz that engulfs the full record.  The band also dip into prog rock and heavy metal influences on album closer TROLL TOLL.

There's not necessarily any reinventing of the wheel going on here, but with All Hail Deathcats, Deathcats reaffirm that it's a bloody good thing to have around.  Their catchy song writing, and feel good summer vibes will find them plenty of admirers, allowing them to continue to preach from the gospel of reverb.

- Neil Wilson

Deathcats - All Hail Deathcats is out now via Fuzzkill Records.  You can stream the FULL album via the widget below and download or buy the 12" vinyl from here.

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