Rife with more ideas than occasionally and debatably it knows what to do with, it is fair to say that the Creators EP from Katsuo is a feverish dance of sound and imagination which is impossible to ignore. Five tracks of electronic pop merged with dubstep, alternative rock, and just a whisper of j pop, the release is an undulating, in success, and rousing inciter of the dancefloor with just enough to suggestively infect even the more hardened resistance. First listen raised doubts and a strain of antipathy but it has to be admitted over time Katsuo and EP became a deviously addictive proposition with moments which just had to be enjoyed more and more.
Katsuo is the project of multi-instrumentalist Alex Larkman which he formed in 2012. Gaining experience in numerous bands, the musician wanted to ‘create something edgy, contemporary, and innovative’ so taking inspirations from the likes of Fall Out Boy, 30 Seconds to Mars, Skrillex, and Prince into his invention created Katsuo. The first year saw debut EP Silver Tongue released as well as the single Warrior a little later. Their well-received success was built upon last year by the release of the Stereo Jesus video which featured Suicide Girl and Front Magazine cover girl Rebecca Crow (Katherine Suicide). Again it only enhanced the presence and hunger for the sounds being unleashed, something the Super Happy Records released Creators can only emulate and drive on.
The title track kicks things off and immediately has pulsating beats resonating through the senses whilst an electro rummaging ingrains an even deeper alluring presence. As much a contagious agitator on feet as a bed of hot coals, the song is soon striding with a hungry energy alongside the compelling vocals which have been laying down their particular infectious bait from the first second. Assumptions soon kick in that this rampant electronic taunting and enterprise is the way of the track but Larkman is soon dismissing expectations as from the vibrant brew of electro pop urgency with guest vocalist Nakisha Esnard adding her glorious harmonic tones to the mix, a burst of swing and jazzy temptation with delicious dark piano enticement included breaks free from the feisty melodic waltz. Fusing it all in a continuing anthemic seduction with virulently addictive endeavour and adventure, the track is an excitable and exciting start which like the whole EP feels like a bit of a guilty pleasure for more heavily boned and aggressive tastes but simply is predominantly irresistible.
The following I Wanna Know continues the enthralling start, its industrial bred entrance a reserved yet keen coaxing which welcomes and wraps around the strong and smooth vocals of Larkman. Again there is sense of ‘should I be liking this so much?’, but as the mischievous and provocative slice of electro pop rock continues to embrace the ears there is little resistance to its uncomplicated and radiant presence. Carrying an essence of eighties synth pop to its magnetic croon the song is another thoroughly appealing highlight on an already satisfyingly teasing release.
From here on in the EP loses some of its potency on personal tastes though the next up Secret Supervillian featuring US singer songwriter Zoe Ann still recruits feet and appetite in its richly catchy web of electro rock infestation ripe with melodic craft and vocal harmonies. There is the spark missing which ignites the previous pair of songs though, and especially with the seductive voice of its guest bringing the strongest temptation it feels like a missed opportunity. With a tantalising brief interlude of cheerleader driven tribal toxicity embraced by electronic groaning sitting between this track and the following As Good As Mine, which itself hosts another guest appearance this time from Mark Bolton, the EP still nestles nicely in the emotions but here without sparking and igniting the imagination as it started out achieving so easily. The second of the two songs is too boy band like for these hungry ears and is a soon forgotten encounter though this is down to personal tastes only. It is a pop song to be fair which has all the tools to capture the passions of teen girls and day time radio whilst to its latter melodic narrative the emerging growl will satisfy soft rock pop enthusiasts. Well-crafted and presented the track is a straightforward flight of pop sound spreading the charm of the release if not the kindling for a fire in the emotions.
The closing song The Wicked hints at the same results with its acoustic opening and vocal harmonies but it saves itself with dark electronic revving and a bewildering yet inviting mix of ideas and sounds. Just when you think the song is about to fall into a bland pop abyss it comes up with a twist to nudge attention though equally when you hope it is about to expand those elements it slips back into the uninspiring caresses. Arguably messy in its mesh of ideas but persistently nagging with shards of temptation it is a more than decent if not inspiring end to the release.
The Creators EP is two scintillating long term incitements and three generally pleasing if not lingering pieces of pop kissing. The release will not be for everyone though certainly it offers enough at its start to entrap and enslave all imaginations at least once but with promise soaking every step it is easy to see Katsuo emerging into strong acclaim and greater potency within dancefloors and electro pop appetites over the time ahead.
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