Cinema - The Cat Empire
Not a creature on earth knows how better to get comfortable than the cat. Never complacent mind you, they’re quick on their feet. The same can be said for The Cat Empire from Melbourne. Through five albums and rigorous touring, the Empire continues to build its minions and sharpen its hooky claws. All that time together and combined experience gave them the nerve to enter the studio with ideas and little more. Half-time singer Felix Riebl (who splits duties almost down the middle on each recording with Cat co-founder, Harry Angus) tells us that ‘the band felt comfortable and confident enough with their experience level in the studio that they could use the environment fully as a creative tool with which to conceive and render the songs.’ Every great album needs a thread that ties the material together. In the case of Cinema, the silver screen allusion is more than coincidental. The band was inspired by the way music is being used by modern movie makers as almost an additional character, propelling plot lines, adding tension and intrigue; especially in the work of Quentin Tarantino. I agree. The only thing better than watching a tarted up Rose McGowan with a machine gun strapped to the stump of her amputated leg in Planet Terror, is the twangy, surftastic soundtrack. Cinema contains cult classic-worthy examples on the opener, Waiting For Us and Only Light; both cruising tentatively on sinewy spy thriller bass lines. The Heart Is A Cannibal picks up on the cheese factor in the Tarantino/Rodriquez flicks with its Rhythm Ace intro. Throw in accents from The Empire Horns, cool keys courtesy of Ollie McGill and the Empire’s usual hot-buttered big bag ‘o mixed rhythms and Cinema proves way more fun than sitting for two hours in a dark room with a bunch of strangers.