|The Native Cats — Dallas (2013)|
The Native Cats — Dallas
Location: Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Album release: July 9, 2013
Record Label: RIP Societ
1. Pane E Acqua 2:42
2. Hit 1:53
3. I Remember Everyone 5:42
4. Cavalier 5:02
5. Scratch Act 3:37
6. C Of O 6:35
7. Mohawk Motif 11:37
≡ Peter Escott — Vocals etc.
≡ Julian Teakle — Bass etc.
≡ Photo by Lou P Conboy, Mount Wellington May 2013
≡ The third Native Cats album
≡ LP available through Ride The Snake & R.I.P. Society
≡ CD available though R.I.P. Society
≡ Recorded & mixed in Rokeby by Anthony Rochester
≡ Mastered by Mikey Young
≡ Album design by Brendan Boucher
≡ Cover image from video footage taken by Matt Preston
≡ The Native Cats are Peter Escott & Julian Teakle with guest vocals by Claire Jansen and Emma Cunningham
≡ A R.I.P. Society/Ride The Snake co-release RIP035/RTS-022
≡ Thank you Tasmanians, Americans, and anyone else we may have forgotten
≡ The Native Cats are a duo based in Hobart, Tasmania consisting of Julian Teakle (ex-Frustrations and Bad Luck Charms) on bass and Peter Escott on vocals. Both program backing music.
≡ The Native Cats frequently gig in Hobart and tour regularly to Melbourne. Escott’s distinctive tenor and Teakle’s punk credentials lend the band a musical distinctiveness that brought them to the attention of NME in March 2009 who singled them out as a band to keep an eye on.
≡ Their debut CD ‘Always On’ was released on Consumer Productions in April 2009, and rereleased on vinyl in 2010 through Ride The Snake. They have also released a 7” single on White Denim.
≡ In 2011 their second LP ‘Process Praise’ was released through Ride The Snake.
The Native Cats has been Teakle’s primary musical outlet for the last few years, and Dallas is The Native Cats’ debut full-length record. It’s difficult to explain just why this is such a significant record.
≡ It’s partly because the opening track, ‘Pane E Acqua’, is near-perfect minimalist punk rock: just a bass riff and a set of evocative lyrics (“You off the record / Or you at your best”); it’s also because ‘Hit’might be the dark electronic pop everyone’s always wanted to construct in their bedroom. Or that ‘I Remember Everyone’works off the Celibate Rifles’ opening riff in ‘Merry Xmas Blues’and whisks it off into psychedelic PiL territory; or that the atmospheric intensity of ‘Cavalier’could wind its way into a Polanski film set in freakiest parts of regional Tasmania. But it could just as well be the Queenstown-via-Berlin scratching Devastations textural sonic experiment of ‘Scratch Act’, and the haunting musings of ‘C Of O’. And then there’s 11-and-a-half minutes of atomised psychedelic electronic punk in ‘Mohawk-Motif’. The bass riff is relentless, captivating, hypnotic; the sonic background is replete with weird noises – is this the onset of insanity and eternal confusion? The vocals kick in, and we’re confronted with a lecture from Mark E Smith, edited by John Lydon. If you don’t understand just why it’s so good by now, you never will. But if you do, you’ll never be the same again.
BY RYANSAAR; POSTED ON JULY 17, 2013
≡ Quick, what comes to mind when you think of Tasmania? Incest, extinct tiger-looking animal and MOFO right? Well, add Native Cats to that list. It should be easy, as it’s basically word association with the Tasmanian Tiger. Native Cats, Tasmanian Tiger, c’mon, it’s not fucking rocket science.
≡ Native Cats play a brooding type of post-punk (is there any other kind?) that mixes dangerous eclecticism with haunting vocals. Now, before you get up in arms and say ‘But Ryan, you turkey-scrotumed chode-dolt, you describe all music as dangerous!’. And sure, that point might be valid. I (painfully) remember a time when I described Oasis by that term, and I even slapped that label on Eminem once or twice. But, I was young, naive, and I thought the Gallagher brothers were genius’, instead of incredibly average dudes that can play guitar. THIS TIME IT’S SERIOUS! ‘Dallas’ is a masterpiece of finely crafted dark majesty, where simplistic and clean swirls with the Australian guttural, like The Birthday Party met up with Lubricated Goat and they all had a nice bath.
≡ Still think Native Cats is for chumps? Chuck a listen to ‘I Remember Everyone’. That shit will straight up give you schizophrenia, with it’s disquieting pulsating beats rocking the song back and forth on it;s hinges, and maniac ready to strike out at any moment. ≡ The lyrics are straight poetry from Rowland S Howard’s diary, the consistent bass line forcing those creepy, Edgar Allen Poe-esque words into overdrive. However, for those wanting a little more release, there’s the serial killer love ballad ‘Scratch Act’, a ditty probably left off Suicide’s debut because it was ‘too’ genius. The minimalism that builds and grunts through that track is stark and horrifying, like a black polar bear. Have you ever seen a black polar bear? I haven’t either, but I guarantee it would be pants-shittingly scary.
≡ The real beauty of ‘Dallas’ is the way Native Cats slowly let you descend into their creepy narrative. It’s so subtle and almost unnoticable. First your jamming to the singular opener ‘Pane E Acqua’, and the 8-bit biter ‘Hit’, and then all of a sudden your at the tail end of the album. And that is not a place the faint of heart want to find themselves, with the titanic uprisings of ‘C of O’ and ‘Mohawk-Motif’ taking up about half of the entire album’s 37 minute run time. These mammoth tracks, 6 and a half and 11 minutes, respectively, are like theatric acts. You may as well grab some popcorn and visualise some sort of Shakespearean play evolve between your very earholes. Fuck it, get a large popcorn, you’re gonna be here for a while, and you really don’t want to pause it, and lose the momentum.
≡ So, to summarise, The Native Cats ‘Dallas’ is a moody, droning whack to the solar plexus with nunchucks made from Scott Walker’s limbs. It’s an album that smashes pop’s bubblegum and rosy cheeks into the pavement, and grounds it up into a delectable meat that it can stew over later whilst it watches ‘Game of Thrones’. Because what better way to watch Peter Dinklage than with Hobartian post-punk that screams medieval awesomeness. Notice that’s not a question but a statement. Go get The Native Cats album, ‘Dallas’ right now, if you know what’s good for you, chump. It’s out locally on R.I.P Society, and in the States on Ride the Snake Records. You can stream/buy it off their Bandcamp, right here. Or at least check out the song ‘I Remember Everyone’; it’ll make you shit ostrich feathers. (http://ryansaar.com/)
Julian Teakle: https://www.facebook.com/julian.teakle
Peter Escott: https://www.facebook.com/paytahr.escobar
BY PATRICK EMERY; 4.5/5 stars
≡ Julian Teakle is an artist, in the conceptual sense of that term. He makes music that explores the fundamentals of the pop and rock genres, stripping each back to its constituent elements, mashing them up, rolling them out and isolating the bits that work, and discarding all the rest. Sometimes Julian Teakle’s art works; other times, it confuses enough people to ensure Teakle remains on the fringes of the artistic scene. ≡ But it’s always important art. The Native Cats has been Teakle’s primary musical outlet for the last few years, and Dallas is The Native Cats’ debut full-length record. It’s difficult to explain just why this is such a significant record. It’s partly because the opening track, ‘Pane E Acqua’, is near-perfect minimalist punk rock: just a bass riff and a set of evocative lyrics (“You off the record / Or you at your best”); it’s also because ‘Hit’might be the dark electronic pop everyone’s always wanted to construct in their bedroom. Or that ‘I Remember Everyone’works off the Celibate Rifles’ opening riff in ‘Merry Xmas Blues’and whisks it off into psychedelic PiL territory; or that the atmospheric intensity of ‘Cavalier’could wind its way into a Polanski film set in freakiest parts of regional Tasmania. But it could just as well be the Queenstown-via-Berlin scratching Devastations textural sonic experiment of ‘Scratch Act’, and the haunting musings of ‘C Of O’. And then there’s 11-and-a-half minutes of atomised psychedelic electronic punk in ‘Mohawk-Motif’. The bass riff is relentless, captivating, hypnotic; the sonic background is replete with weird noises – is this the onset of insanity and eternal confusion? The vocals kick in, and we’re confronted with a lecture from Mark E Smith, edited by John Lydon. If you don’t understand just why it’s so good by now, you never will. But if you do, you’ll never be the same again. (Fortaken: http://www.thebrag.com/)
by Peter Escott on August 20, 2013
≡ In a special feature, Peter Escott of The Native Cats (pictured left above) discusses in detail the duo’s new record’ Dallas’, which is available now through R.I.P Society. It was originally published on Escott’s blog.
≡ Part One: The True Personal History Behind the Mysterious Title of the Third Native Cats LP
≡ Dallas? Dallas is a state of mind, man. Wait, where are you going? Come back…
The Native Cats toured the United States of America in September-October 2012. We didn’t play Texas, but Dallas Fort Worth was our point of entry into the country. In the months leading up to the tour I had a strong feeling that we were going to be turned around at the airport and sent straight back home. This wasn’t a completely illogical fear — who hasn’t had stories drift sadly past their eye about visa mishaps causing an international tour to be compromised, postponed or cancelled entirely — but it also spoke to a refusal to fully accept that the tour could actually happen, that the idea of it could cross over from daydream to rough idea to itinerary all the way to reality. The phrase “too good to be true” in its purely defeatist form. Dallas is where all thoughts and visualisations of the tour were frozen for months. Dallas is an aggressively pessimistic state of mind which was soon proven wrong.
≡ (I explained the above to Julian when I suggested the title for the album, and he in turn suggested that the inside of the CD booklet contain his photograph of a big, sloppy beef burger, his first meal inside the United States after almost 18 hours of sleepless flight. I suppose it represents the victory over pessimism, the beginning of things turning out alright after all. However, I take this opportunity to apologise to our vegan fans for what you must find a sad and repulsive sight in an otherwise gastronomically unthreatening album. I myself am not a vegan, but I have always defended you against ignorant jokes based on the false premise that you are weak and exhausted all the time, to the point where many people consider me quite humourless as a result.)
≡ When I was 11 I read The Winning Touch by David Hill, a book about a struggling school rugby team and their fairly standard Mighty-Ducks-esque rise to victory. There was a kid on the team named Dallas, and to the best of my recollection, his entire story during the course of the book was this: Dallas joins the team, shy and nervous and oddly bruised; everyone finds out right before the final that Dallas’ dad beats him up; Dallas starts going out with The Most Popular Girl In School.
≡ There are regular childhood daydreams I can recall more vividly than most true memories. From about age ten onwards they were mostly based around being pitied: fantasies of being beaten unconscious for no reason by a group of older kids at assembly, of returning to school at the start of term having lost an unhealthy amount of weight off my already skinny frame, of having cruel messages about myself painted large on school walls, of fainting inexplicably and being rushed to hospital. They started well before I read about Dallas, but I certainly imagined these things a lot more often afterwards, and most of all, that’s where I developed the poison idea that pity was the way that girls form an interest in you.
≡ I never made any attempt to bring these fantasies to life, unless you count slouching around the school grounds almost every day for years, looking miserable, though never more miserable than I actually felt. But undoing the psychic rot took years. Starting the Native Cats was an early step in learning to project a basic degree of self-confidence and never trying to attract pity again, so it made sense to name an album after Dallas the city, and after Dallas the kid.
≡ Dallas is a state of mind, and I’ve named it so I remember never to repeat it. Dallas is a place where you mustn’t ever win.
≡ Part Two: The Origin and Intent of Each of the Seven Songs which Together Comprise the Third Native Cats LP…
≡ (…with the exception of one lyric, which I was planning on writing about, but I’ve seen a few quite dark interpretations of it in the last couple of months, and in this particular case I’d rather take the credit for an unsettling idea than write about the very ordinary place it came from.)
1. Pane e Acqua
≡ Julian wrote the bass part, recorded it on his phone and texted it to me. The next day I wrote the words, sang them into my phone, and texted them back. Then he texted me to say that he liked what I’d done and that we should keep the song without any beats. That was the entire creative process. Have I mentioned we live 20 minutes’ walk apart?
≡ When I was eight I really liked the young rapper Snoop Doggy Dogg (or whichever songs from Doggystyle were played on Triple J, at any rate), and refused to accept what I would hear on the news about him possessing marijuana or carrying firearms, because why would he, if he was such a good musician? 20 years later I don’t feel like my position on drugs and music has advanced much further. In my whole life I’ve only ever been sober, because nobody has ever made even an hour of any alternative look or sound appealing to me. But that’s just a gap in my comprehension. So this song is about a lifelong teetotaller trying to find a clear point of identification with his favourite drug musicians. I think I managed to fit into the song every confused and conflicted idea I had in the space of an afternoon.
≡ We like to start our albums somewhere unusual — ‘Water Down’ on Always On, ‘The Singer is Dead to Me’ on Process Praise — and as the first song we’ve ever written without a beat, ‘Pane e Acqua’ certainly fits the bill. We’ve started opening our live shows with it sometimes too, the theory being that it kills chatter by being the quietest thing that happens all night.
≡ The title is Italian for “bread and water”, and is, as I learned from a documentary aired during the final act of the Lance Armstrong doping scandal, a slang term for cyclists who don’t use performance-enhancing drugs. The first of the album’s many little jokes.
≡ So side 2 of Dallas is in memory of Trish Keenan, and also Brendon Annesley, responsible for the Negative Guest List zine. He asked me to write reviews for NGL, which I did for about a year, and in the process I got turned onto a lot of incredible music — Los Dug Dug’s, Gun Outfit, Lumerians, Sun Araw, the aforementioned Shit and Shine 10″ — way outside my usual frame of reference. We never met and the only communication we ever had, the initial writing offer aside, was him sending me music and me sending him reviews. I had no reason to even think of him directly as a human being until I heard of his passing. You get to be so many things to so many people in your life and you never even get to know the half of it. Sometimes you’re a friend and sometimes you’re an obstacle and sometimes you’re a faceless conduit for life-altering ideas. That’s what Brendon Annesley was to me and I never thought to say thank you. ≡ (Excerpt. Read more at: http://crawlspacemagazine.com/2013/08/20/the-native-cats-peter-escott-on-dallas/)________________________________________________________________
|The Native Cats — Dallas (2013)|