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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Reviews:: Tomcat Combat - I'm Okay, You're Okay

I'm not going to lie, Tomcat Combat's debut full-length I'm Okay, You're Okay wasn't the easiest thing for me to review (then again, if we're really being honest, considering I'm the hill's "rap guy", I'm always surprised when I come up with anything coherent about songs that don't have 16 bars and the boom or bap). The fact is, we just don't get a lot of instrumental, or post-rock records submitted for review. Luckily, this one happens to be very enjoyable.

I'm Okay, You're Okay has actually been out for a few weeks now, and although I'm a fan of the album, it has taken me a while to post on it because I wasn't sure how to tackle it. Essentially I figured I might as well tackle it in terms of its listenability. And right from the get-go, this Halifax five-piece grabs your attention and holds on tight. The excellent Pacer's Club opens the album at a brisk, ahem, pace, while Action Doer takes things up a notch further. These two songs alone showcase the bands' cohesion as a unit, as the guitars play well off each other, the drums are equally comfortable in the back keeping time or jumping out and taking the lead, and the moog-esgue keys are always there filling in the spaces.

There is really a minimal amount of individual noodlery, which one (or just me) might expect from a band in this space, but I think the album is better for it. The songs are not just straight ahead jam sessions either, the band manages to mix things up quite well throughout: I Might Have To Go Away For A While starts with only some spacey jingle bells before erupting into a breakneck rocker, the brief I've Seen Death has a much more electronic sound with very little guitar work, and there are also some vast, quieter moments to be found on songs like Mountains And Planes, Clock Worker's Union, and Middle States And Mental Giants.

So perhaps the best compliment I can pay this album is just how listenable it actually is. The arrangements aren't simple, but the songs are still very accessible for someone like me who knows pretty much nada about the post-rock. In fact this album has joined The Extremities as a solid rotation staple in my array of work-accompanying music. If you're into instrumental bands at all, Tomcat Combat is a must listen I would say, but even if you aren't I'd advise checking them out as they have a pretty solid album on their hands here.

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Posted at 9:50 AM by naedoo :: 0 comments

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