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Past Lies and Former Lives
Artist: Cat-A-Tac
Label: Independent
Length: 41 minutes/ 12 tracks
Cat-A-Tacís debut full-length finally arrives after two years of waiting since their EP appetizer.  The full-length sees them shifting their shoegazey sound towards indie-pop, but the change is not a bad one.  Twelve surprisingly solid songs make up the debut.  Most are similarly constructed: guitar-driven melodies with a layer of fuzz, with lyrics focused on relationships, love, and sex, similar at points to Viva Voce or a looser version of Stars.  

And itís all solid.  While it never quite hits a peak or a defining moment, the jangly indie feel throughout most often works in the bandís favor.  Itís difficult to even pick out a single track as the prime example Ė each one is effective on their own.  But itís also what slightly snags the album down a bit from being as good as it could be.  Thereís no surprises here.  Itís straight forward indie pop, albeit solid, good straight forward indie pop.  But perhaps the band could dip into and incorporate further the psychedelic and swirling background that rests as a bed for each song in this debut and add more color to their sound, or aim for more interesting production that grabs the listener more readily.  

But again, itís to the bandís credit that despite being an unsurprising style, they still sound very good.  Theyíve got talent, good song writing, and perhaps most important of all, the ability to don a well-worn style and still sound fresh.  A worthy independent band to keep track of.
Jonathan Avants 6/14/07



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