The past few days have been glorious. Anticipated releases from a number of incredible artists descended upon us in some kind of happy avalanche. Friend of the site Alpha Chrome Yayo dropped his Komorebi EP. The innovative dark electro collective Plike released the exquisite De Anima. Melodywhore, Shura, The Murder Capital, Sleater-Kinney…it just kept going.
August 16th saw a particularly interesting release. Another entry in a little known sub-genre called “meowwave” – Cat Temper’s Something Whiskered This Way Comes.
Temper is currently the leading (and only) light in this exciting new field. Previous albums Digital Soul and Purring For Vengeance set the standard. Now Something Whiskered… is here to push the envelope.
Obviously, this is all tongue-in-cheek. However, it is worth noting that new and frequently strange genres crop up all the time. If you come up with a tag and use it, then it’s a thing. Stylistically, Cat Temper is simply a great practitioner of synthwave/synth-pop. But they augment this with an obsessive love of cats and a sense of humour.
Unlike vaporwave (which often threatens to implode under the weight of irony), Temper’s work doesn’t take itself too seriously. Alongside the 80s influenced tones and aesthetics, we’re treated to some of the most deliciously ridiculous puns in music, including “Purranoid,” “Don’t Fur The Reaper,” “Breakin’ The Claw” and my personal favourite: “Master of Pawprints.”
A glance at the track listing primes you for the experience. Actually artist Quinnzel Kills’ crazy/awesome cover gets in there first, but still. You’ll go into Something Whiskered… expecting quite the ride.
Opener “Meow At The Devil” is pretty badass. It features epic retro synths along with what Temper likes to call ‘Crunchy power chords.’ The riffs are strong with this one. Both this and second track “Calicommando” are early indicators of the high calibre production at work here. Shimmering runs in the treble, house elements and a healthy sprinkling of chip tune are all bought together seamlessly.
As with the best instrumental electronica, Something Whiskered… doesn’t wear out its welcome. It’s relatively short but isn’t afraid to showcase the variety and dynamic range synthwave can offer. “Tomcat Sawyer” is the best example of this, with its exciting intro, cyber-beats and the way it builds and builds before tailing off wonderfully towards the end.
Cat Temper wants you to play. To be left feline happy thanks to distinctive, awesome songs which remain on the right side of silly. With a combination of over-the-top imagery and musical meowess, we have been given the pun-tastic album we never knew we needed.
You can find Cat Temper here: