Review: Black Cat White Cat – Nine Wild Lovers

The long road for an album release can sometimes be treacherous. Self-defeating thoughts, the real world, health issues, economic declines, you name it, all factors dragging a release by its heels. It can feel eternal, and two bands I’ve talked about this week fit this path. One was Psychic Twin. The other is Black Cat White Cat.

As previously mentioned in this Shithole of a Website (TM), I’ve been following Black Cat White Cat since 2010. A single in the only Club60 single club physical release, a track here and there, and that was all she wrote. Songs like ‘Daddy Bap-Bap’, ‘Fat bitch’, ‘Up in degrees’, ‘Shiny River’, ‘Fridge’ and ‘Lucille’ kept intensifying on their live form, perhaps the best way to relish on their tunes. You would be lucky if you saw them live and local legend Andrew Smith from Rough Shag tried to book ’em as often as possible. Thank you, dear sir.

So, 6 years on, Nine Wild Lovers is now out, free to roam the damp streets of the once proud city that manufactured world-renowned steel. Nine tracks, with Angela Basson‘s powerful vocals shredding through speakers and souls alike. Simon Stafford‘s taciturn drumming keep things on the earthly side of things. Chris Saunders clear love of blues, with a deft vibrato here and there; dashing notes for passing lovers at night. Mickey Dixon and Jono How‘s basslines, skulking in the back, with unclear intentions for gritty nights.

Nine Wild Lovers is an album for nights. It’s clear that’s the best time to immerse oneself into this trip. Get your ruby red shoes on, tap them thrice. ‘Highway’ is a majestic cut, full of style, full of wanton and a thirst that won’t be quenched. The subtle cello parts add panache to an already classy number. The “Dorothy in the modern world” narrative held by the band through the years flourishes well in tracks like ‘Nine Wild Lovers’ and the explosive ‘Signature Kiss’. The contrast between sweetness and naked aggressiveness in these two tracks are what really makes Black Cat White Cat tickThere is a conflict fuelled by two opposing feelings that shouldn’t intertwine, but they do and in a sweet bluesy organic way.

All those live staples, like ‘Fridge’, ‘Lucille’ and ‘Daddy Bap-Bap’ are here, as fiery as I remember them, each one still a declaration, a statement. ‘Fat Bitch’ is especially interesting, as Basson‘s vocals shine through and through, with great recording from the 2Fly Studios team (hey, Sandersonicus! It’s your boy!), and Ross Orton‘s masterful mixing shining through.

Imagine yourself surrounded on enemy territory. Your survival instinct kicks in. You scurry by, like an old cat in a dog pound, carefully threading as you know any mistake will be fatal. Maybe you’ll escape unscathed. Maybe you’ll make a mistake and alert people out for your blood. If that happens, maybe you’ll end up shooting your way out of the kerfuffle like Black Cat White Cat have done, with a nine bullet clip, each bullet etched with the name of Nine Wild Lovers. 

Words: Sam J. Valdés López

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