After releasing two EPs, Melbourne based guitar pop/post punk trio Cat Cat have released their debut album Uralba. Meaning ‘house between the hills’ and the name of the farm in Canberra where the band self-recorded and produced this album, Uralba proves to be a decent if unexceptional showcase for this band.

Featuring some solid tracks like the opener “Bobby Killed The Cat” and “Pavement”, the band are purveyors of a low fi brand of indie pop made famous by the likes of artists on the New Zealand Flying Nun record label, such as The Chills and Headless Chickens. One can also hear the influence of early eighties paisley pop music, such as the early work of The Church.

Over the space of ten tracks, Cat Cat paint a decent musical portrait of what they aim for in their music. However, while a pleasant listen, the album does seem a bit self-conscious and does the echo/spacey effect to the point where it loses its effect.

The music really achieves an effective trance like quality, like the best of this genre. It’s easy to let the music of Cat Cat just wash over you and get lost in it. “Moving Song” is particularly effective on this front. Lyrically, the songs on Uralba are ambiguous and impressionistic tales of travel, both in the physical and spiritual sense. They really don’t add anything to the music and, like on “Ourselves”, come off as more than a bit pretentious.

Also, when not trying to imitate The Church’s Steve Kilby, the vocals come off as somewhat affected and a little bit forced. A shame, as the band, on a sonic level, do show a solid understanding of minimalist guitar pop where less is definitely more.

Being a debut release, this is but a starting point for a young band. This is a decent start for a band that have interesting and quirky elements to them.

– Neil Evans