Deathcats – Shred or Dead

Scotland finally seems to be catching up to the London and New York hipsters in terms of generating a handful of really good garage rock bands, defined by lo-fi production values, raucous performance, and a fascination with old music.

In musical terms this means beginning to play catchup with Manchester and the South Coast of England, and Deathcats are the latest in a slowly but steadily increasing line of bands which suggest that this particular style is starting to make a broader impact in Scotland, finally broadening a little beyond the recent voyages of Paws and Dolfinz to Southern lands.

Initially, this lot appear more influenced by CBGB than the rough and ready indie of the early nineties.  Danny Dyer is a fine tune, but one more suggestive of defiant, confrontational New York than the introspective, inward-facing determination of the likes of Dinosaur Jr. and Pavement.

The two songs which follow are a little less overt in their provenance, and I have to confess that I am not entirely convinced by I Know I Say I Love Being Single (But I Cry Myself To Sleep When I Think About You), but I Wish it was Summer is an exuberant and pleasingly simple pop song which recalls some of the stuff my cousins used to play to me when I was a child and they were teens, into bands like Madness, Adam and the Ants, The Dead Kennedys, John Cooper Clark, the Clash, The Piranhas and the Specials.  It has a sort of non-specific late 70s/early 80s British alternative pop chart appeal, and with a little spit and polish could make this lot a mint if an advertiser got a hold of it.

It’s never wise, as I say time and time again, to draw too many conclusions from such a small handful of songs, but on the face of it, with a couple of minor reservations, this lot seem really promising.