Since their debut album ‘Too Many Gods’ was released in 2015, the Cats have been busy with a flurry of live gigs and festivals. At last, being six months in the making, Scarecrow is the result. With 10 brand new tracks, it was time well spent. The music feels fresh, but at the same time, has a familiar feel to it - as if you can sing along within a listen or two. This is a sparkly new chapter in the lives of the Cats showing clear 1970s influences in its uplifting and feel good music.
The opening few seconds of the first track ‘Jupiter Calling’ sends you right into orbit with its expressive vocals and delightful harmonies bringing life to the lyrics. The first single to be released from the album is Mad Hatters Tea Party ( watch the video here ). Glorious fun with intricate keyboard dominance making this the ideal choice to pique rock fans interests in the album. It deserves the airplay it is getting, and played live, it is a real crowd pleaser.
Track 3 takes a darker turn with the haunting ‘Clown in your Nightmare’. Paul Manzi (Vocals) brilliantly showing the range of his voice in the dramatic lyrics.
Purr-fectly placed, track 4 - Scars - A song of love and heartbreak, is somewhere between a ballad and an anthem. The harmonies and backing vocals emphasise the beautifully crafted lyrics littered with common phrases.
The power anthem, ’September Rain’ shakes you from the quiet sadness with solid drumming dominating the brilliant musical content in this, and the following track, ‘Broken Wing’ which ends with a flawless guitar solos.
Just as you are getting used to the slower tempo, the Cats get their claws out with Two Minutes 59 - It wouldn't surprise me if this gets airplay - provided the radio presenters get the tongue in cheek lyrics! Spookily lasting a fraction under three minutes, it is full of catchy words and melodious chorus lines.
Felix and the Golden Sun is a real feel good song with some fun, catchy lyrics and great keyboard bringing a completeness and a fresh, clean sound that has you tapping your feet from beginning to end. Timebomb, the penultimate track, is solid with distinctive guitar solos running through the length of the track.
The last track is the title track - Scarecrow. It is a big song, and I mean huge! The musical arrangement brings complexity with its tempo changes and the talents of all six Cats shine through in this one track, building to a crescendo before quietly ending with a twinkly keyboard solo over lyrics that pay homage to ‘The Greatest Story Never Told’ - one of the epic tracks of the first album.
The album is, simply put, purr-fect. Playing to their strengths, bringing trademark harmonies which are beautifully delivered. There is superb clarity in its production and as a result this is one of the best albums I have heard this year. Second albums are often tricky - this one lives up to, and surpasses the band’s impressive first album.
Scarecrow is released on 25th August 2017 and can be pre-ordered in all usual formats with some exclusive merch HERE
Cats In Space are out on tour later in the year, and with all this glorious new music, I can’t wait to be Down the Front!
Paul Manzi - Lead Vocals
Greg Hart - Guitars, Vocals
Dean Howard - Guitars
Jeff Brown - Bass, Vocals
Steevi Bacon - Drums, Percussion
Andy Stewart - Pianos, Synthesizers