Listen Local: New Music Reviews

Jul 19, 2023 at 9:57 pm
Listen Local: New Music Reviews

Cat Casual & The Final Word

Terrorboss - EP 

Having only released two records since 2013, I had assumed that one of my favorite local labels, Noise Pollution, was all but dead at this point. So I was quite excited when label co-founder Brandon Skipworth reached out saying they were beginning to release music again, the first of which is this one right here. Cat Casual is the stage name for William Benton, former Louisvillian now based out of New York who has spent time in bands such as The Phantom Family Halo, Tyrone, Bodyhammer, Lucky Pineapple, and has performed and toured with Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Shilpa Ray, Ivan Julian, and collaborated with Steve Wynn (Dream Syndicate), Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth), Makoto Kawabata (Acid Mothers Temple), among others. Now stepping out on his own, Cat Casual brings an amalgamation of all the bands and artists he’s worked with into one big original sound; a melodic and melancholy mix of rock, indie folk, Americana, and new wave. Imagine Pete Yorn writing and recording with The Velvet Underground. There is definitely a 70’s New York City inspired vibe and swagger underlying all four tracks here. A sound that is simultaneously easy to listen to and fall into the groove of, yet fairly grand in scale, making use of multiple instruments and musicians at once. Cat Casual is the perfect name, because this sound just radiates coolness.

Indignant Few 

“Gimme That Somethin’”- single

So it’s been a few years since Indignant Few’s last studio release; 31 years, to be exact, since 1992’s “Street Smart Girl” ep. Was it worth the wait? Absolutely! After splitting up in 1994, all four original members reunited in late 2021 and have been creating new tunes that are miles above their early 90’s output. “Gimme That Somethin’”, one of the first songs they created after getting back together, is a burner from start to finish; greatly expanding on the sound they created back in the 90’s while retaining all the energy and snotty punk attitude that made them both beloved and hated in the scene back then. Musically this track falls somewhere along the lines of a mix of Social Distortion, Dead Kennedys, and The Sex Pistols. Catchy, driving, powerful, energetic, straightforward and unapologetic punk rock with a punchy, pile-on, gang sing-along chorus that sticks in your head. This is the kind of punk rock that Louisville has needed since, well, ever since Indignant Few originally broke up. The band recently filmed a music video for this song at Mag Bar, (in which you may just see a certain LEO reviewer in the crowd), that will be released soon. Look for a new ep on the recently resurrected Better Days Records label before the end of the year, and catch the band at one of several upcoming shows, including closing out Mag Bar Music Fest on Sunday, July 23rd.


“KYDS” and “Already Dead” - singles

LUX’s debut ep Dirty Mirrors, released last November, left one hell of an impression on me and made my top local picks list for last year; so when they sent me these two new singles for review, I tore into them like a kid at Christmas, and I was not disappointed. These latest tracks see the band expanding on their already uniquely original sound and leaning a little more into shoegaze and post-hardcore elements while still retaining the hints of grunge and indie rock that was a little more prevalent on their previous songs. Chaz Owens certainly sounds much more confident as a vocalist; his voice coming through with more passion, strength and conviction than on the three tracks that made up the Dirty Mirrors ep. And the songwriting is just as incredible as ever; blending flowing, emotional, melancholic even somewhat haunting melodies with explosive, driving, powerful rhythms into a huge dream-like soundscape quite unlike any band I’ve ever heard before, creating a sound that falls somewhere between a mix of The Bends-era Radiohead, Hot Water Music, Slint, and early We Were Promised Jetpacks. You definitely get a 90’s Louisville hardcore feel underlying their sound, but this is something much bigger and much more special. Easily one of Louisville’s most underrated bands, LUX is creating some absolutely astounding music that deserves your time and attention.

Routine Caffeine

“No, I” - single

If you’re not yet familiar with self-described “indie bedroom pop rock” trio Routine Caffeine, well, you might be one of the last. Barely two years in as a band and they are already a Louisville favorite, (their debut ep Spaghetti Junction placed 3rd in the 2022 LEO Readers’ Choice Awards “Best Local Album” category, right behind Jack Harlow and Skipping Stone). Their latest single “No, I” is a beautiful, flowing bit of melancholic indie dream pop based around a rolling guitar melody, in-the-pocket bass lines, swinging bossa nova beat, and rounded out with light synth highlights. The song serves as a perfect showcase for Katie Kelley’s haunting yet enchanting vocals. Lyrically, “It’s essentially about finding it hard to enter a space when you know you might not feel comfortable there. The verses of the song focus on the things that bring you anxiety when you are about to show up somewhere or face a challenging confrontation, while the chorus is more focused on the little things that bring joy and ease your worries” said Kelley. The band once again worked with Anne Gauthier at La La Land Studios for the recording, and Gauthier shines at bringing out the magic in the instruments she records by giving them thick, rich, warm tones and the whole song a really huge, full sound. “No, I” is only a small teaser of the upcoming Routine Caffeine ep to be released later this year.