WASHINGTON DEAD CATS BIOG
WASHINGTON DEAD CATS BIOGRAPHY
But what happens to this colorful group that has accustomed us to records covers worthy of an fireworks?
After 38 years, they produced their first album cover in black and white (or almost... a little yellow)!
And inside the same, a psychedelic medley black and white baroque engravings!
Would they become atrociously classic and well-mannered, would their music have become a sort of ersatz of a posthumous and depressive Joy Division, did they give into the temptation of Post-punk and bourgeois rock revival a kind of 80’s fashionatas?
But nay! They pioneered a way that runs far distant from the beaten patt to surprise us in the corner of a wild jungle.
It’s an album that they wanted very close to their scenic energy, raw, frontal and racy, mixed by Seb Lohro of «Near Deaf Experience», .
They remain elusive, mixing garage rock and theremin on “Man made monster“, punkabilly and brass on “Monkey Brain“, Sergio Leone-style surf rock on
“Mata Hari“, pure and hard punk rock in an English 77 tradition on “Are we all zombies?“, blues in full explosion on “I need a place to cry“, almost pop on “Rattlesnake woman“, or surprisingly Nick “Cavien“ on the title “Coal and roses“. Not to mention the return to basics of the first album «Go Vegetables go!» who made their success in 1986 on “Swamp thing“.
Unclassifiable pieces but with a mastery of the arrangements to make Bela Lugosi turn in his grave, creating a surprising unity between the different musical universes approached. The palette is wide but the color is a rock’n’roll of which they have held the keys for a long time.
The texts are always as cynical, quirky, humorous under shadows and romantic, influenced as much by films like Bad Taste (“Monkey Brain“) as by the cinema of Sergio Leone (“Mata Hari“). They mix concepts like others do cocktails on Copacabana beach.
Mat Firehair has been able over time to vary his vocal repertoire from crooner singing (Coal and roses, Mata Hari) to sprechgesang (Man made monster), from the most bluesy scruffy singing like the Howlers of the 50’s (I need a place to cry) to primitive garage punk (Are we all zombies?).
The horn section still does such amazing work, taking the band far from the basic simplicity of punk rock while keeping its immediate and instinctive side. Juju’s trumpet on «Mata Hari» alone creates a universe that transports us into the arms of the mysterious spy.
The guitar of «The Duke» is sometimes surf, sometimes aggressive, moving from one register to another without shocking our ears of Spock fans with pointy ears. The mastery of the genres approached by «The Duke» is always elegant, precise, original and makes him one of the most promising guitarists of his generation.
“Monkey Brain“, 13th album (excluding compilations) is not another new Washington Dead Cats album but still a new and pleasant surprise.
This group has never ceased to cover their tracks since their debut, opening new doors without closing others. The Dead cats know how to renew themselves with unparalleled feline grace and they prove it again.
Mat Firehair: Vocal lead,
SeaweedYo: Drums & back vocals,
The Duke: Guitars & back vocals,
YouRIP: Bass, upright bass, trombone & back vocals
KallhimGG: Saxophone, egg shaker & back vocals
Juju trumpet & back vocals
Recorded by “The Duke“ au Sub à Vitry, Mixed and mastered by Seb Lohro pour N.D.E, Artistic coordination : François Piriou, Pre-prod : The Tiger’s basement, All artwork by Mat Firehair
Label : Devil Deluxe Music / PIAS / INTEGRAL