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Cat-A-Tac
Past Lies And Former Lives
Needlepoint Records
www.cat-a-tac.com


It seems Denver has finally turned out a band to fulfill the promise of the early 90's noise-rock/shoegaze underground movement. Building on the foundation laid over a decade ago by bands like The Czars, The Christines, Twice Wilted, and New Ben Franklins - and more recently by alt. country/dreampop crossover bands like Red Cloud - Cat-A-Tac lays down an album full of gazey goodness laced with the same poppy niceties that made shoegaze the genre of choice for many Brit-heads of the past.

The record begins with a swirling pop number called "Needles And Pins" that spins up some fine glossy guitar work and the same laid-back scrubbing as the slower 99th Dream era Swervedriver tunes while featuring background vocals that remind of the finest moments of The Dandy Warhols. There are moments of shoegaze brilliance scattered throughout the album, including the Ride-like wall of sound beauty of "Burned" and the Adorable-esque pop of the title track. On "Alone", Cat-A-Tac channels the spirit of slow-mo greats Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine. The vocal melodies float lithely above the walls of guitars and sound strongly akin to The Red House as they weave in and out of the sonic storm. The songs have the steadiest of rhythm sections, ably doing its job of anchoring the sound perfectly while sounding fresh and relevant. The guitars vary from darkly distorted to jangling clean and the vocals are mostly legible as they move through these fine tunes, rather than being buried in the walls of guitars as in so much shoegaze.

While the songs on Past Lies And Former Lives bear resemblance to past shoegaze bands, what really makes Cat-A-Tac stand out is their ability to make the sound their very own. While they draw heavily from and anchor their music in the style of the bands of the past, they fuse the sounds and rhythms into a cohesive mass of brilliant sonic goodness that propels the shoegaze movement into the future… giving hope to those of us that long for those days of sonic bliss that were here and then gone.

Long live the 'gaze!

-Embo Blake


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