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Cowboys In Cardigans - Pink Cat (Album Review)

  • Written by  Johnno

Okay, okay, okay - listen up, bozos. You're gonna listen/read well because this review is totally biased. Undoubtedly biased beyond all comprehension and reason. There's no reason to call me out on this. No point whatsoever. Just nestle in, keep your hands above your waist (for now) and expose your ear holes to those Cowboys In Cardigans. 

Cowboys In Cardigans is the brainchild of singer-songwriter Jamie Reaume, a project born in Windsor, Ontario almost 10 years ago. There, alongside some handsome and talented gentlemen (including yours truly for about a year, oh my god, did I yell that? perhaps that's why I'm biased) the group released the LP Cockatoo, and the EPs Platypus and Giraffe. Sounds of punchy, garage rock, laced with shoegaze tastefully interwoven spilled through the stereos and live sets. Think of a blender filled with the fuzz of The White Stripes, the rhythm of Queens Of The Stone Age, lyrics of Ween and Primus. That's your beginner palette. After emigrating to Toronto in 2017, Reaume later resurrected Cowboys with former Foreign Film Star bandmate, Mike Yunker and TimeGiant drummer Charlie McKittrick - both of whom are also Windsor expats. 

Before the exciting world of pandemic life, the trio entered the Sound Foundry studio with Brett Humber at the recording helm. All the instrumentation was recorded live off-the-floor, capturing the performances and less work of tracking takes. So fast forward to now, late 2021, and we have the latest release, keeping with an animal-themed album title - Pink Cat. The six-track EP proves the band is tight, the songs are intense and pop, leaving you with tasty, tasty rock and roll with a fresh breath of personality. 

Pink Cat enters with "The Golden Dude", an immediate dose of California coastal up-tempo vibes, surf rock drums and lyrics about looking west, volcanoes, the ocean, and feeling strange and free. On deck is the head-nodding track "Crash" that starts with a slight-reverby guitar lick, then the rhythm section kicks in with a sloopy bass line to move craniums. The highlight is its catchy, sing-along chorus, reminiscent of "Out Of The Movies" of 2014's Cockatoo. 

The middle third of the EP features "The Butcher" and the instrumental "The Mighty Cyclops", a pairing of tight and succinct fuzz n' crunch guitar riffs, offering one-two blows through your speakers. Yunker steps into lead vocals on "Behind The Glass" in a Nick Cave storytelling mode of seduction and yearning.  Pink Cat ends too early with "Raccoon", a sauntering instrumental, Jack White-ish licks that would inspire soon-to-be guitar players. For reals. 

Alright, people. Look. I told all your faces that I am biased and I'm not ashamed whatsoever. Okay? Pink Cat from Cowboys In Cardigans is a super fun, great listen. Heavy enough for some, danceable enough for the rest. A soundtrack to a one-man, Jack Black ballet of rhythmic vulgarity and weirdness. Check the band's YouTube page for the EP.


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