Cats In Space – Kickstart The Sun


Never has the world needed a Cats In Space album more than it does right now. As we stumble from the darkness of a global pandemic into the blinding light of a climate catastrophe, the Cats’ sixth album, Kickstart The Sun, is a musical balm sent to soothe these troubled times. Moving the band forward, whist retaining their core sound, this is a record that will please their core fanbase and win them many new admirers.

With crystalline vocal harmonies bouncing around a huge cavernous space, ‘Kickstart The Sun’ makes for a brief, sedate introduction, but the still is soon shattered by the epic ‘King Of Stars’. Exploding in shards of glistening effervescence, chords crash, keys tinkle and drums pound in a perfect storm that soon becomes a raging tempest. It’s a bold (and lengthy) choice for an album opener, but in a case of fortune favouring the brave, it really works. A song of several suites, it’s a pocket symphony that takes the listener on a crazy carnival ride…and it’s still the first song! Only the cool shuffle of ‘Poke The Witch’ could follow such a track and it floats on a summer’s breeze, wending its way like a bee drunk on pollen.

There’s a feeling of undiluted joy permeating Kickstart The Sun, a love of life that informs almost every note, and the groovy sound effects that announce ‘Teenage Millionaires’ encapsulate this. A roaring motorcycle tailed by police sirens epitomises all that’s great about raunchy rock n’ roll, and when you factor in one of the best riffs known to man, plus an insanely catchy chorus, you have a song which rains like manna from heaven. “New” vocalist Damien Edwards has certainly made himself at home, and he confidently commandeers the mic stand, his theatrical background breathes life into each of these tracks and turns songs such as ‘Charlie’s Ego’ into richly woven novellas.

The grandiose title track is the burning globe around which the album revolves, haunting harmonies are counterpointed by equally arresting melodies, and the two conspire to create a gravitational pull that’ll entice even unbelievers into their orbit. With their well-crafted songs and ice cold ‘70s influences, it’d be easy to dismiss Cats In Space as a retro act. Queen, Wings, The Who, have all cast a spell over the Cats, and while these influences are worn like badges of honour, they’re used a springboard to something new, rather than being mindlessly regurgitated. ‘70s inspired they may be, but there’s an energy present that places the band right in the here and now, yet the boisterous nature of ‘Last Dance Saloon’ has a timeless nature that will surely sound refreshing fifty years hence. Bringing things full circle, a reprise of ‘Kickstart The Sun’ closes the album, but it’ll have you pressing ‘play’ again and again and again.

Cats In Space are a band who, in a quest for perfection, always set the bar impossibly high, and this time around they’ve produced a double album that could rival Tommy or The Wall. It’s a nice problem to have but you’ll wonder how they’ll top this one.

Track List:

  1. Kickstart The Sun (Intro)
  2. King Of Stars
  3. Poke The Witch
  4. Teenage Millionaires
  5. Goodbye To The American Dream
  6. 1,000,000 Miles
  7. Fifty-One Pillow Bed
  8. Charlie’s Ego
  9. Kickstart The Sun
  10. A Big Balloon
  11. Smoke & Mirrors
  12. Hero
  13. Last Dance Saloon
  14. Bootleg Bandoleros
  15. Kickstart The Sun (Reprise)