The Native Cats are an acquired taste. A couple of years ago when their debut record Always On came out, its dry instrumentation and incredibly deadpan delivery disgusted me in some innate way. I couldn’t even put words to it: tasked with reviewing that album, I actually just didn’t.
Several years down the track, I’ve found the perfect environment in which to enjoy The Native Cats: terribly drunk and alone. This is not an instruction by any means, but if you find yourself unmoved (or even repulsed) by The Native Cats, I would advise giving it a go. Because there’s a kind of plainspoken profundity to this band. When they’re described as an electro-pub rock band, this description isn’t just literal.
Because listen to the reverb on Peter Escott’s voice: it’s applied in a manner that recalls some regional go-getters on a stage adjoining the pokie room at the Wagga Wagga RSL, probably on a Tuesday night. It sounds like he’s singing to an empty room. And the accompanying music is that empty room. When the lovely synth chimes kick in towards the end, you know someone’s just won the jackpot.
The LP from which this is taken, Dallas, releases in July through RIP Society.