With a bottom end that rumbles like thunder coming over the hills, Black Cat Bone certainly make their presence felt on this 5-track EP. Squalling guitar from Luis Del Castillo, and wailing harp from Ross Craig have to compete to make their presence felt over Kai Wallace’s insistent, nagging drum rhythms and the dirty, fuzzed up bass of Jonny Linstead (now succeeded by Ewan Mckenna after Linstead left for pastures new). With Craig adding deep, edgy vocals, it can be a compelling brew.
|Ross Craig and Luis Del Castillo get their wail on
‘Morning Light’ sets the tone with a booming, hypnotic drum pattern in the foreground, and ringing guitar in the distance, while high harmonies on the “How-how-howlin’” chorus provide contrast. The titular ‘Get Your Kicks’ eases off the starting grid with a slow opening verse over spare guitar before the big artillery kicks in to support a rolling, double-tracked riff with an attractive climbing segment, leading up to a final, uptempo assault that features scrabbling guitar from Del Castillo balanced by a harp solo from Craig.
‘Bullet’ combines a driving riff and stuttering rhythm with Craig’s croaking vocal to come across like 'Teenage Kicks' colliding with Motorhead. After a low-key opening ‘Love My Baby’ echoes ‘Roadhouse Blues’ to the extent that you’ll want to call out ‘Let it roll, let it roll’ over the buzzing rhythm section, while Del Castillo’s scratchy guitar tries to break in through a window to join the action – and now and then succeeds.
Closing track ‘Hip Shake’ takes Slim Harpo’s much covered blues classic and drags it through a proverbial hedge backwards, with fuzzy bass and buzzsaw guitar piling in over a relentless, stomping rhythm worthy of the Glitter Band. With another chanted chorus, you can almost feel the sweat of a mosh pit as they bring it to an urgent conclusion full of prickly guitar injections and bursts of harp.
Black Cat Bone have a distinctive sound that’s likely to appeal to a younger, more grunge-ready audience. The challenge for them will be to make sure their deep groove doesn’t become a rut as they go forward.