With the year approaching its close and end of year lists being prepped, it may be time to stop and reconsider those final decisions on what to include. With little fanfare or advance notice, Galway band Harrison & The Devil release their debut EP ‘Cat Matters’ and it’s set to shake matters up. The band is named after a discarded novel from the Marquis de Sade, and this EP is suitably torrid and more sordid than a party with Max Mosley.
Lumbering bass lines intertwine the deathly drum rolls of The Badger & The Bird to produce a gallows marching song. Musically it is very much in the vein of Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds and it’s imagery fits the murder ballad mold, particularly when “taking the kitchen knife in your hand”. Likely Lay shuffles along with an anguished angular guitar lick during the chorus and as it’s darkness beckons you to join it in sin before it ends in frantic lupine yelps.
The bass plays a huge part in forming the band’s sound. It rumbles along on the tumultuous Bones while Psychopomp is a different kettle of fish altogether. Here it resembles the pounding heartbeat of prey being stalked. It’s a wild psychedelic stomp and is a welcome change of pace which shows Harrison & The Devil are no one trick ponies. Rounding matters off is a live version of Up Above The World which shows Harrison & The Devil can bring it one stage, too.
Throughout the Cat Matters EP, Ja McDonagh’s vocals have a desperation about them which further adds to the atmospheric dread. These tales of lust and murder are perfect listening material on these dark autumn evenings and will grab your attention. This is a late contender to wedge its way onto the end of year best–of lists.