After spending the last few years releasing a number of free EPs and name-your-price digital downloads over Bandcamp, Atlanta-based noise pop group DeadCAT are coming forward with their first label release. With it, they are breaking away from their old way of making distorted musical dive bombs, and delving deep into neo-psychedelia, showing off a much more mature approach to making music.
The best way to describe Transientualism is as a combination of early Wavves and current Animal Collective; much of the record’s drumming has the same hectic quality as that found on Wavves’ 2009 release, Wavvves, while many of the vocals and jittery synth drags are hazy and dreamy enough to have been lifted clean from AnCo’s Centipede Hz. The LP opens with “Blossolalia,” a freaky song that would make a horrible first impression to the tamer ear, but encompasses much of what the band loves: echoes, garage rock drumming, and lyrics sung through a telephone in a fishbowl. Of the 10 tracks, it comes the closest to DeadCAT of old, and is an outlier, for all that follows is easier to swallow. “Frequent Fortunes” and “Flights” are examples of the band’s new, softer approach, where discordance is no longer the name of the game, but is replaced by more pop-oriented electronics. “Wet Heat” opens the record’s closing third, which straddles the line between DeadCAT’s old noisy style and more conventional indie pop.
In a nutshell, Transientualism shows itself to not be about the instrument-banging musical rebellion that was the basis for the band’s early freebies, but instead about making songs that, while still not fitting the molds of convention, are much more advanced in construction. While some fans of noise may look negatively upon the change, DeadCAT are declaring themselves to be more grown up and commercially viable than ever before, having jumped from a loud disturbance to a family act.
A Word: Developed