Monday, 29 December 2014

Album of the Year: #3 King of Cats - Working Out

"I don't work out a lot, but I think about it often". King of Cats' (Max Levy to his friends) debut album Working Out mixes together the Oxford based songwriter's insecurities and sharp wit to cook up a masterpiece of thoughtful indie pop goodness. Levy's talent has clearly not gone un-noticed, the album has been released by not one but two labels in the form of Art Reeks (a combination of Art is Hard and Joanna Gruesome's Reeks of Effort).

I first stumbled across King of cats when his track 'Summertown' was released as part of Art Is Hard Records' 'Pizza Club'. At first I wasn't sure what to think, Levy's voice is unusual to say the least, however after a few listens I was hooked. On the album we are treated to a new version of 'Summertown' which has in no way lost it's sparkle. A soft guitar accompanies Levy's beautifully delicate voice, however the comfortable sounds are juxtaposed monumentally by harsh lyrics such as "I'd have liked to see you hang yourself" and "sometimes I see your face in ageing porn stars".

The album largely focuses on bodies and their imperfections, this is evident purely by looking at song titles such as "Arthritis" and "Ulcers". The latter is a beauty, an excitable guitar and enthusiastic bass dance together like a pair of sweaty teens who are seeing their favourite band for the first time. The album ends with an equally rowdy number, 'Chugger' builds up with a plodding bass line and restrained guitars that eventually break out of their cage to lay waste to your ears in a feedback fuelled rampage.

Although Levy's unconventional voice might put some people off, it is hard to deny his song writing talent. Working Out lays the foundations for King of Cats to become a cult hero of the UK's very lively DIY scene.

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