Mr.Kitty: Life


Like a knowing soundtrack to every aspect of its title, Life the new album from US musician Mr.Kitty is a canvas for reflection, emotive dance, and drifts into diverse enveloping feelings inspired by its elegant and beautifully sculpted beauty. The most complete and rounded release from the Dallas based artist to date, the fifteen track album is a rich and smouldering wash of electronic pop and new wave adventure, an album to ignite the senses and invite the passions into a long and ardour fuelled companionship.

Mr.Kitty is Forrest Carney, who takes his inspirations from an eclectic array of artists such as Joy Division, The Cure, Depeche Mode, Crystal Castles, Pictureplane, and Grimes. His music employs numerous flavours and textures in addition to the basic tag we previously mentioned, elements of eighties post punk, gothic emotiveness, and electro ambience all playing their part in the depth and distinct characters of sound and individual songs. Released with Engraved Ritual, Life is the fourth album from Mr.Kitty, and part of a four album series consisting of two “light” and two “dark” albums, this drawing on the lighter shade of his imagination, though it is not without its rich and mesmeric shadows.

From opening song Insects, the album as well as seducing the ear and senses provides a visual backdrop to its songs in its coveratmospheric narratives and colour soaked expressive breath. Evocative and with lush emotional hues, Life provides the paint box and aural paper for the listener to explore their own dark corners and heart bred thoughts as well as those offered by and of the artists himself. Insects is an immediate medium to ignite those interactive qualities, its animated stroll and pulsating rhythmic veining an absorbing lure with the crystalline electro oscillation alongside another mesmeric suasion. The vocals of Mr.Kitty soon caress the ear with a sultry lure to their soothing texture, the artist a constant tempter across every song with his impressive and expressive delivery. The eighties inspiration is open within song and album though only another breeze to the refreshing wind wrapping the listener from the very first minute.

The impressive start is soon equalled by both Heaven and Unstable, the first cradling the senses with a choral kiss of angelic harmonies before heady rhythms and cantering melodic synth fascination emerges to explore the lofty heights already in place. The song bounds over thoughts and emotions with eagerness but a respectful energy that seduces the imagination and opens up its romance and that of its recipient. Like its predecessor it is virulently infectious, the roaming electronic atmosphere a spark to the simpler but no less effective and irresistible hooks and has thoughts in lustful expectations for its successors, something the darker but no less contagious Unstable feeds with poise and beauty. Across its provocative and slightly sinister embrace there is a Depeche Mode call to the veiled heart but again only a taste fused into something transparently contagious and unique.

Through the harsher touch of Sacrifice with its riveting and senses worrying intro and caustic intent, Holy Death where the vocals have a Dave Gahan lilt at times, and the excellent Labyrinth, the album continues to stretch the journey and venture into a wealth of emotions and thought taunting scenarios. The latter of the trio brings a Visage like melodic tonic to its glorious smouldering presence and though at times you want to sing “Fade To Grey” as the bulbous melodies suggest their source, the song is another striking highlight.

Those pinnacles just keep coming though as tracks such as the exceptional London, a song enjoying the added siren call of female vocals within its Pet Shop Boys like waltz, the stunning gothic cast Dearlove, and the intense Choke with its shadow fuelled drama, all explore imaginatively further impacting emotion lit pastures. With so many songs there are rare moments where some hold a similarity as they hold hands but it is rare and such the strength and potency of each and every one it is an ‘issue’ you are searching for just to offer up as a temper to the otherwise full acclaim it is hard not to place over Life.

As the closing Father provides the deepest emotive honesty of the album, the artist unafraid to venture where pain dwells, Life leaves a powerful and lingering imprint on mind and heart. It is an outstanding encounter that leaves no emotional stone unturned yet does so with a light and melodic energy which captures the passions. Mr.Kitty is destined to take electronic pop to new fields, Life the impossible to dismiss evidence.


RingMaster 05/07/2013

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The Winter Olympics – Profit & Loss

With a name like The Winter Olympics you cannot escape thinking they might be another tepid and pale band to place alongside the likes of Coldplay and Snow Patrol, another band with dulled embers in their belly from an extinguished fire. A big mistake as their new album Profit & Loss shows. The quintet from London is one of the most exciting bands to emerge into view, the band having earned its destined success through years of determination and hard work, and their album a stunning and thrilling maelstrom of imagination, ingenuity, and heart energising pleasure.

The Winter Olympics create a storming riot of melodic punk n roll, though that is simplifying it. With strains of electro dance, post punk, and melodic rock as virulent as the eighties breath and insatiable energy which drives the band, their sound is unpredictable and inspiring rock n roll at its very best. Consisting of Martin Bowman (guitars), Andrew Wagstaff (vocals), Simon Oldham (drums), Neil Mackay (bass), and Agatha Mlynarczyk (keys), the band have released through Freakscene Records, an album in Profit and Loss which demands and receives nothing less than enthused attention.

Within seconds opener Regional Showcase rubs the ear firmly with coarse riffs and an instantly addictive post punk groove. That Joy Division tease is irresistible as it leads one into a fist pumping chorus with the melodic disdain of Pulp and punk arrogance of Max Raptor. It is a staggering ride which you can only leap on board with, coat tails flying in the urgency. The belligerent bass of Mackay glares throughout the song whilst the guitars dip into a Sisters Of mercy like stance before exploding again into an anthemic and rampant tempest of sounds, energy, and sheer pleasure.

I Prefer The Early Stuff opens with a churning clutch of riffs which have an early Undertones gripe to their approach before again expanding into an abrasive and completely compelling assault. The song soon employs classy melodic teases for a pop punk glow alongside the still intimidating under current, the mix another impressive and delicious slice of invention. An early single from the band, the song tells you all you need to know about them, their vision and ability, with the album as a whole further showing the quality of variation within their songwriting.

Latest single Fags and Girls once more takes a different tact, its sizzling electro weave underpinning the harsher tones and excellent harmonies from Wagstaff, an impressive vocalist throughout, and Mlynarczyk. It is a song to only light the touch paper to greater ardour towards the release which successor This is The Fourth Time (I Have Been In Your House) only stokes further. With a stern probing bassline the song entangles post punk whispers with burning guitars thrusts and punk attitude, the defensive angst and lustful loss of control lyrically and musically, wringing of the same mischief pool as Innercity Pirates. As the song ends with the addition of large melodically and sonically bold keys added to the already magnificent mix there is nothing to deny it taking best of honours on the album.

The electro based stompers They Launched A Probe and Attention All Departments both leave a breathless heart in their wake, the first a gentler but feisty romp whilst the second has elements of The Thompson Twins tied to the manic energy Baddies rushing through its presence, though with all these comparisons it must be noted the spices only flavour something quite original.

Further songs such as the electro pop I Miss The Nineties and A Prize Every Day keep things on a more subdued but equally satisfying stature whilst the closing pair of Feeling European and especially the thumping last track Heavy Metal Ending, ensure the album ends on lingering brawls of invention and energy.

Profit & Loss is a sensational release and thrusts The Winter Olympics to the fore of imaginative and innovative UK indie rock. We lost Baddies this year but this band easily feels the gap and more.

RingMaster 01/10/2012

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