Lo-Fi troubadour releases one of the surprise hits of the year
King of Cats is anything but conventional. From his style of music to his singing voice. He’s not aiming for the mainstream. He’s shows take in everything from a midnight choir, heartfelt crooning, mournful laments, drone rock and at times he’s a one man Sebadoh. Whether he’s the main act or not, you will remember his set.
He’s now released his third album Working Out. To say it’s lo-fi is to describe the Sun as yellow. The only way it could have made it more lo-fi, it would be have been recorded on Dictaphone tapes and the whole album was improvised. Having said that there is plenty of good stuff on Working Out to engage with.
Opening track Orb Weaver is a touching duet with Alanna McArdle, you know her from Joanna Gruesome/Id, that has one of the best lines of the year “Not everybody gets the joke” shrilly sung. At a recent gig, KoC closed the set with this and spent what seemed like 5 minutes just screaming “Not everybody gets the joke”, louder and louder while feedbacking his guitar. As previously mentioned (http://wp.me/p32DDF-CD), Orb Weaver is a firm favourite at thisyearinmusic towers. Dead Lamb is a war cry for “Big Bellied Boys” to stick together. On Brasso KoC sounds like he’s been heavily influenced by Neil Young’s Dead Man soundtrack. There is a slow and brooding harmonium in the back ground that works perfectly with the juxtaposition of the shrilly, nasal vocals. Ulcers does what it says on the tin. Final track Chuggers questions what it is to be a man in society. These aren’t throwaway topics, despite their appearances.
The strength of the album comes from its honesty. As the tracks sound like they were recorded in an intimate space, you feel that KoC is singing, not just to you, but for you. At first his voice can grate, but after a few plays, you get used to it, and it starts to become the integral part of the songs. There is something about it that draws you in. There is a limited amount of elements to the tracks guitar/voice and the rhythmic, almost hypnotic guitar playing is really effective. The dissonant chords heavy chords, coupled with the high pitch vocals creates something wonderful and unlike anything else around at the moment.