Cats In Space – Scarecrow


Songs that put a massive smile on your face

Blast into orbit on 25 August 2017 with Allan who will neither confirm nor deny the purchase of kitty ears on the back of this album

Rock’s answer to the Mystery Men return for a second album. It’s been a couple of years since their wonderful debut Too Many Gods came out, so for those who aren’t familiar with it I’ll simply point you in the direction of the review I did for it at the time, here. Can’t be bothered reading it? Fine – it was so good that I still have it on my playlist now, two years down the line. So, when I heard about this album, I had very high expectations – along with the fear that there was no way that they could repeat the magic of that wonderful debut.

Thankfully, they’ve done it again. Really, it should come as no surprise given the amount of talent in the band, and the ridiculous number of people they’ve either written for or performed with over the years, but it’s still fantastic to see this talent produce music of this calibre consistently.

So, what’s it like? Think big, luscious, drool-worthy harmony with gloriously thick 70s rock tone. Think of soaring vocals, wonderful combinations of piano and guitar, and slick and tight rhythm section work all combining perfectly. Think of songs that put a massive smile on your face when you hear them, and songs that you just don’t get sick of. Hell, I’ve been struggling to write this review because I can’t stop listening to it. It’s at once simple and accessible, but the complexity and skill of the songwriting just becomes more and more obvious with each listen. Influences are firmly worn on the sleeve with fondness and coupled with a heartwarming sense of familiarity, and yet somehow they still manage to sound original, fresh and contemporary.

There’s such a sense of fun and vibrancy throughout the album that you can’t help but enjoy yourself. Songs like ‘Two Minutes 59’ fondly rib the concept of the three-minute radio-friendly single (while actually clocking in at 3:08, just to continue the joke), while the band effortlessly veer from the ballad ‘Scars’ to the massive AOR-pop-rock of ‘Broken Wing’ and pure theatre of title track ‘Scarecrow.’ I’d love to be able to pick out favourite tracks, but it’s damned near impossible. There’s something to love in each and every track.

It’s a magnificent triumph of an album, and if anything it’s even better than the first. It takes all of the fun, of the tongue-in-cheek vibrancy of the debut, and ramps it up to twelve, never mind eleven. This is easily one of the best albums of the year, and you’d have to have a heart of stone not to love it.

Cats In Space – ScarecrowTrack list:

  1. Jupiter Calling
  2. Mad Hatter’s Tea Party
  3. Clown In Your Nightmare
  4. Scars
  5. September Rain
  6. Broken Wing
  7. Two Minutes 59
  8. Felix & The Golden Sun
  9. Timebomb
  10. Scarecrow