The Native Cats make angular, edgy, danceable songs, rich in unexpected detail

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The Native Cats make angular, edgy, danceable songs, rich in unexpected detail

The Native Cats
Words by Bryget Chrisfield

There’s a feline slinkiness to The Way On Is The Way Off, The Native Cats’ fifth record.

After entering the kitchen to make a beverage while ingesting opener Oscillator At The End Of Time through AirPods, I completely forgot my original intention and instead just surrendered to the beats, dancing with abandon and loving every second of it.

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Then the hypnotic, tribal drum beats of Bass Clef (so called after a guy’s neck tattoo, lyrics later reveal) took hold, soon met by Julian Teakle’s sinister, prowling bassline. “I slammed my hand into the city… I hit my head on the doorframe of Hell… I skinned my knuckle on my hometown…” – singer/electronics operator Chloe Alison Escott’s violent lyrics land like a series of suckerpunches.

According to its accompanying presser, Escott finally felt ready to face her “deep-rooted trauma and identity issues” head-on while creating this material, so she revisited some lyrics that had “previously felt too raw or revealing” to put out into the world.

We’re obsessed with absolutely everything about the relentless, almost-seven-minute-long penultimate standout track Tanned Rested And Dead, but particularly its mid-song synth freakout – The Goodies on acid. Fun fact: this song’s closing BV harmonies are supplied by members of fellow ace Tassie bands Slag Queens and Philomath.

This Hobart post-punk duo make angular, edgy, danceable songs that are rich in unexpected instrumental detail (see: Suplex, which concludes in a flurry of dramatic piano and digital fizz). Also, any band that manages to effortlessly weave “bequeath” into their lyrics immediately deserves your undivided attention.