Black Cat Rebellion – Ain’t Got No Time (CD)

Incorporating the best parts of Samhain, Tiger Army, Nekromantix and Death By Wednesday, Black Cat Rebellion simultaneously works in two different periods; first off, in the earliest days of Goth music, alongside bands like 45 Grave, and in the later punk/rockabilly revival. “Burn” comes through with an infectious beat, aided by the intricate bass of Creepy Rob and a sultry-sang set of vocals laid down by Brad. Each track spins through with the same stylistic nods, but by the third track, “Lover’s Drive”, one can begin to hear the same guitar riffs and omnipresent bass lines, layered under the same style of vocal trills by Brad. While the disc is consistent (and no one can claim it isn’t so), there is a fine line between promoting cohesion and painting oneself into a corner.

There are no stand-out tracks on this disc, no “Atomics” or “Backstagepass(es) to Hell”, and it is precisely the ability of bands like the aforementioned Tiger Army and Nekromantix that keeps them above a band like Black Cat Rebellion. Black Cat Rebellion is by no means deficient instrumentally, but a lack of imagination in terms of arrangement holds them back from achieving a vital piece of history for the rockabilly/goth genre. Finishing off the disc with “Only A Matter of Time”, Black Cat Rebellion portends good things with a minor breaking-away from their established sound. The guitars maintain their same gristly flavor, but Brad’s vocals attain a sense of smoothness that play off them perfectly, as only two diametrically opposite items can.

The mastering on “Ain’t Got No Time” is pretty consistent throughout the disc, and as such, may be the culprit in explaining why the guitars seem so compressed, so tinny on the final product. Bright flashes litter the musical landscape on this disc – for example, when Black Cat Rebellion allows their restraint to fall by the wayside, creating the chaos that is found at the end of “A Classic Rebellion”. A number of the tracks found on “Ain’t Got No Time” fall into a hole of mediocrity for which nothing can help them. The band’s energy is not to be surpassed, and this album captures the live experience, coupling it with a strong, professional studio sound (even with the minor issues as quoted above). Still, Black Cat Rebellion creates an innovative product instead of just rehashing their interests, and that gives this album something special that even the most solid, best-sounding, and catchiest bands can’t recreate.

Top Tracks: Black Cat Crawl, Only A Matter of Time

Rating: 6.3/10

Black Cat Rebellion – Ain’t Got No Time / 2004 Self-Released / 9 Tracks / / / Reviewed 22 December 2004

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