Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Cats on Fire - Our Temperance Movement (Matinee)

There haven't been many more bands that have quite captured the indiepop zeitgeist as much as Cats on Fire over the last couple of years. Scandinvian? Check. Ridiculous good looks? Oh, yes. A million packed out London gigs over the space of two weeks? Of course. And so why haven't they grabbed my imagination so much? I'm not so sure...
It maybe comes down to the fact that I've never really tried listening to their songs enough, because one and half listens into Our Temperance Movement and I'm beginning to see what all the fuss is all about. Sure, a lot of what Cats on Fire is style and is stylised, but you can say that about a lot of indiepop at the moment. I won't mention names, of course, because I'm a good boy, but if you're going to do something obvious, make sure you do it well. And that's what Cats on Fire do.
And so when they sound like Felt on Lay Down Your Arms, at least they do it really well, rather than just putting on the voice, or the guitar part or the production.
If there's one thing missing, its humour. Apart from the fact that sometimes Matthias Bjorkas tries so hard to sound like Morrissey that he ends of sounding like Euros Childs. But that'll be the accent, I suppose. He probably thinks I sound like... ooh, I dunno... Duncan Norvelle.
Still, that is a minor gripe. Because there's songs here like Never Sell the House, which is so beautiful that you can do without the knowing nods and just pretend to be lonely and misunderstood again. And if you really, really are lonely and misunderstood then you're in for a treat.
Or, if you really fancy a piece of Marr-ish nostalgia, dance around your handbag to Steady Pace. I know I will later on. Or, if you're feeling really saucy, do that bendy-knee dance to the Housemartins-esque Tears in Your Cup, which really does it for me.
And so I think, eventually, I've fallen for Cats on Fire. I'm sure we'll make a lovely couple.

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