30 March 2017
Cattle - Nature's Champion
I need to start this one with an apology, I have not listened to Leeds noise/sludge act Cattle for far too long. To be honest, not since their first self-titled EP (you can read my review here). I have found out since hearing about this album that there has been a release called 'Anthrax' and a split release with Zozo called 'Plug in a Hotel Tour'. However, their name came up in conversation the other week after they had posted that their latest record 'Nature's Champion' had been reviewed in UK metal magazine 'Terrorizer'. After a few moments of remorse for not keeping up to date with them, I decided to purchase the album and do this review; so, time to actually get on with it.
01 – Tanking the Piss
From the opening notes of this album, it is obvious that Cattle have travelled further down the round of amplifier worship and the two drummers have become a formidable force within the band. You can hear the drums going in two separate directions as the bass rumbles along with note that will force some people to evacuate their seats and head to the toilets to evacuate their bowels. It is a glorious deep rumble that floats throughout this song and when it kicks off, my deity when it kicks off you are punched sideways and it feels so good!
02 – Caring
They say sharing is caring, but if you are Cattle it is just an excuse for more noise to be rained down upon their audience with as many decibels as possible. It is more alternative rock/sludge metal madness that sounds as loud as you would expect from these men, it has ethereal noises and reverb rumbling when it has quitter (not quite, never quite) sections, there are loud explosive moments of noise and looping riffs to become obsessive about – such a good song.
03 – Acrylic
This song starts with a wall of feedback fading in and then it comes in with more atmospheric noise which has more of a Soundgarden feeling to the music on this one than a Buzz Osborne influence. But without that Cornell vocals, it feels as sinister as a walk around London with Jack the Ripper on your tail. It is a slow burner and it has that quality that all sludge requires, it is deep as hell and full of menace; what is there not to love on this one?
04 – Fears and Hestitations
To begin with, the song begins with the same sort of music that started ‘Caring’ and ‘Acrylic’, which upon first listen was feeling like a bit of a rut to be honest. Nothing wrong with the style, just a tad repetitive. However, around the one minute, thirty-four mark, everything start to go quiet and reverb; you are awaiting the explosion and when they drop, it feels like you are in the middle of swirling pit of noise. The riff is so good, I am not sure why it has not been created before, but I am so glad that it exists in this form – without a doubt, the song of the album.
05 – Found in a Tract of Land
Out of the drone ‘Found in a Tract of Land’ is another strange and wonderful piece of sludge/noise that hits the spot in so many ways. It is a song of two halves, the first half is almost playful and has a positive energy to the noise; but once the vocals start, it begins to head down a dark route and it is song aggressive with some harsh sounds and by the end it is akin to white noise – love it!
06 – Red, Again
‘Red, Again’ is a slow piece of sludge that has a lot going for it; it is noisy, it has those fantastic drums and it knocks the stuffing out of you. It is not the strongest song on the release, but it still has something amazing going for it. So, if this track is the Joe Average of the release and I think it is great, does that give a sort of indication of the rest of the album?
07 – Moon Crawl
Ending the album is the longest song of the release, ‘Moon Crawl’; this is also the most adventurous of the album as it features a saxophone performance by Karl D’Silva. It mixes in with such ease that it feels pretty fluid at this point. Reminiscent of John Zorn noise, it explores a new avenue to create that noise, to reach areas that are not normally accessible by your standard instrumentation which is used in Sludge music. It is once again, incredibly harsh and the ending feels a little sudden; but it is such a great song that all is forgiven when they build up that sound around the three-thirty mark; it could level a city and then some. What a song…...
I love this, I love this, I love this. Seriously, this is such a great album that it is automatically in my albums of the year mix. It has all the power of Whores, all the reverb of Melvins and a fuck load of originality; it is a glorious release that should be required listening for anyone who likes their notes to sound dark, full of depth and reverb. Well played Cattle, well played.
10 out of ten - This is proof that there is a God.
Top track - Fears and Hestitations
You can purchase Nature's Champion on the Cattle Bandcamp page here.
You can follow the activities of Cattle on Facebook here.
Due to the DIY nature of Cattle, you can only purchase 'Nature's Champion' on their Bandcamp page; but do yourself a favour and purchase it now!!!
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