CatDesigners – Chemical Jazz

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Album Review by EDF

London based CatDesigners is fronted by Nick Troop who regards this album and the follow-up STRANGE LITTLE CREATURES as solo recordings. Regardless, Nick has recruited two more musicians to help him with touring duties and the recording of an upcoming third album. Talk about getting ahead of yourself and I still haven’t finished writing the review for this first album yet.

Influenced by the likes of the late Jeff Buckley, Bowie and The Cult amongst others, the tracks enter minimalist mode a few times here and do not hinder the listener’s enjoyment. The title track kicks the album off in a Jeff Buckley meets Nick Cave mode while GRAVITY MEANS… show hints of 1960’s West Coast acoustic psychedelia.

Nick’s vocal delivery on MEDICINE SONG is a bit too much like Jeff Buckley for my liking and that is my only complaint I can give on this guitar driven track. I suppose Nick really cannot help the way he sings. WHERE YOU GO comes across like an inspired love song that could have come straight from The Smiths which means that the lyrics are more of a tragedy than anything else. The same could have been said for WHILE YOU WERE DANCING but without a sense of irony within the lyrics, this track is definitely more of a love song. The glam flavoured instrumental DIZZY Q is less cheesy than it sounds and you would have to be a cynic not to like it.

Nick had recorded so many songs that he ended up having enough for two albums, the second of which STRANGE LITTLE CREATURES is now available. You know that Nick has put a lot of work into these tracks, maybe with a hint of knowing that they were not going to be the big chorus singalongs that other artists go for. For this he has to be applauded. Maybe his second album will contain the big chorus tracks that will get him some well-deserved recognition.

5 stars