Cat-A-Tac – Past Lies and Former Lives

Cat-A-Tac – Past Lies and Former Lives / 2007 Needlepoint / 12 Tracks / / /

Cat-A-Tac starts out their “Past Lies and Former Lives” with a track that has a very nineties alternative type of feel to it. Coupled with that, “Needles and Pins” has more than its’ fair share of electronic and New Romantic influence, which makes Cat-A-Tac into a different act than anyone has previously heart. With a strong momentum going into the title track, Cat-A-Tac go in a different track. The style approached during this track is still in the alternative/indie framework, but goes in a early Goo Goo Dolls or Lucero type of approach.

The instrumentation is still solid and the arrangements are such that they hold to heavy listening. By taking two different tacks with these first tracks, Cat-A-Tac gives listeners a little bit of confusion and really throws their expectations to the wayside. With a fresh slate seemingly for every track on “Past Lies and Former Lives”, Cat-A-Tac goes into “Burned” as strong as they entered the title track. Perhaps the most impressive of the early tracks on “Past Lies and Former Lives” has to be the longer “Alone”. “Alone” has a very stretched out arrangement that uses a great deal of feedback to beef up what at times is a little thin and tenuous. The fullness given Cat-A-Tac by this track is something that the band should look into incorporating in subsequent recordings. The band keeps changing up their overall sound throughout the entirety of “Past Lies and Former Lives”, which means that “Credit Whore” has a faux-Detroit rock sound to it that has not previously been heard on this disc.

While lesser bands would go and make a completely confusing and weak album out of all these different styles, Cat-A-Tac is able to make something that is eclectic and different-sounding while still having enough of a thread strung throughout the disc’s 12 tracks. Cat-A-Tac is able to keep listeners interested throughout a forty-minute album, and that is saying a lot in the period of singles and EPs. There are tracks that show the band’s more clearly than others (“Respite” shows the band’s love of Radiohead, for example) but the band never lets their influences dominate over their own unique sound. Keep checking out Cat-A-Tac in the years to come, and it is my sincere belief that they will be able to top the already-impressive work that can be found here on “Past Lies and Former Lives”.

Top Tracks: Respite, Powder

Rating: 6.4/10

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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