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Cats In Space - Too Many Gods

Cats In Space
Too Many Gods
by YngwieViking at 22 February 2016, 8:26 AM

This superb album “Too Many Gods” by CATS IN SPACE is out for three month now and it already received numerous highly argued congratulations, a few awards and most of all exclusively deserved hot praises by some of my most respected fellows and full agreements by well-known experts in the AOR little community, but also in every corner of the galaxy!

So I will try to give another angle in this analysis, but it’s not easy to be fresh and not redundant, as obviously some elements are so tagged with the best of British Melodic Rock. Ok, here I go for some easy analogies: QUEEN/THE SWEET or 10CC or even PHENOMENA… After such names the expectations are growing exponentially; I'm aware and in full conscience of the paradox of such introduction. These cats are great!

What strikes the most is the awesome guitar tone similar to Brian May’s typical sound and the massive use of the classic extra lush vocal harmonies inherited by the British D.N.A. and the whole clever pomp-and-ceremony 70's background simple and simply far from being unnecessarily vainglorious… Even the ultra orchestrated "The Greatest Story Never Told","Man In The Moon"or”Unfinished Symphony” stays catchy, immediate and not the least bit elitist or pompous.

This is not a revivalist cliché and gimmicks affair; this is Art Rock Tribute at its very best (“Last Man Standing” could be quoted as BOWIE meets MERCURY). Indeed the entire catalogue of songs is impressive, all tunes are well crafted, written with great taste and this typical flair by a bunch of experienced musicians, plus the icing on the cake with some external collaborators from the British elite like the talented 10CC's Mick Wilson. The album is also enhanced by some guests that legimate my superlatives like the cameo appearance by SWEET's mastermind, the legendary guitarist Mister Andy Scott himself!

The retro vibes are well assimilated and the perfect restitution mode is set in the most respectful attitude but once again, what is impressive, is that the melodic focus that comes first and it works as each new track is sounding like a timeless hit single; the whole is completed by a fantastic and top-class production design.

In recent times only bands like the very theatrical A.C.T. from Sweden or the modernist INCURA from Canada had made such an impact with their baroque songwriting method, always genuine, yet quirky, intrigue. This helps to build some adventurous, dramatic, elegant and creative musical pieces with one after another one the same stream of utterly mastery, like a brilliant fistful of magic quality, embellished by some highly addictive chorus hooks! In comparison with those aforementioned bands, “Too Many Gods” on the other side is less demanding (but as much rewarding) and the flow of melodies is quite natural and efficient with an easy-listening accessibility!

The extraordinary talented bass player and excellent singer Jeff Brown (ex IAN GILLAN/ex THE SWEET) just released a very interesting first solo album “23 Years” (Mausoleum Records) including many similarities with “Too Many Gods” notably in the constant bliss of melody, the richness of the sparkle harmony or subtle groove and yet still getting a rockin' edge at the same time. Still very British!  The youngest fans of CANNIBAL CORPSE and M.MANSON will be disappointed by the lack of dissonant violence and the harmonically perfect tendency. No cacophonic corpse paint, no necromantic screams, no occult incantations neither, just the opposite, in fact (“Only In Vegas”).

If you let yourself be converted by my diatribe, the richness of the subject is such, that it is a new classic disc to rank next to some of your all time favorites and not one of those disposable albums. Even the never-satisfied naysayers & the nostalgic, old and bitter AOR believers will be in Heaven, at long last.

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Arrival
2. Too Many Gods
3. Stop
4. Last Man Standing
5. Mr Heartache
6. Unfinished Symphony
7. Schoolyard Fantasy
8. The Greatest Story Never Told
9. Only In Vegas
10. Man In The Moon
11. Five Minute Celebrity
12. Velvet Horizon
Lineup:
Paul Manzi – Lead Vocals
Greg Hart – Guitar / Vocals
Dean Howard – Guitar / Vocals
Andy Stewart – Keyboards / Vocals
Jeff Brown – Bass / Vocals
Steevi Bacon – Drums
Record Label: Harmony Factory / Cargo Records
     


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