Cattle: Nature’s Champion – album review

Cattle

Cattle – Nature’s Champion (Hominid Sounds)
DL
Out now

8/10

Louder than War’s Ioan Humphreys happen’s upon his latest favourite noise band, Cattle.

Cattle are another one of my ‘stumble upon’ finds courtesy of the Facebook page Noise Rock Now. Formed in 2012, Cattle have released one EP and shared a stage with the likes of True Widow, the Intelligence, Zeus, Dalek and Yak. Their latest release Nature’s Champion is a seven track compendium of unbearable noise and anguished vocals. Lovely.

Cattle are spoilt with having two drummers, bass, vocals and some selected electronics. That’s it. Wot no guitar? Yep. And the lack of guitar is just one of the reasons why I love Cattle.

Opener Tanking the Piss has a lovely bass throb, a solid drum backbeat and vocals with lots of reverb and echo that continue throughout the album. In fact the production on the vocals is very reminiscent of Throbbing Gristle on their devastating track Discipline. I approve. The build up of noise and the yelping vocals continue through to the last chorus that erupts into a cacophonic noise with a nice Theremin addition.

Caring is a slower, more measured track that layers the bass noise beautifully. Again the vocals are disturbing and puts one on edge. The name of the track is the complete antithesis of what the band manages to produce! The bass heavy sound is starting to remind me of DFA 1979 and the always excellent Oxford band Winnebego Deal. But with excruciating noise added.

Acrylic is a relatively calm slow track that has devastatingly brutal slabs of noise that punctuate the calm running through. This leads to an unrelenting wall of noise that finalises the last third.

Fears And Hesitations sees the band almost taking a funky trip with the bass and drums combo. This, however, is very short lived as the band takes you to uncomfortable places with their sudden weird time signatures and stop start noisy outbursts. The next two track mix nice slow chugging grungy bass with pained distorted vocals, additional electronica and walls of confused and excruciating noise.

Final track Moon Crawl has the familiar stabbing bass and full on jazzy drums that lead onto to spasmodic Saxophone shrieks that are VERY welcome and remind me of BLURT and James Chance. The experimental sax outbursts are combined with relentless noise, vocal outbursts and a finish that is very abrupt. Just fantastic. Cattle’s Nature’s Champion LP makes for often very uncomfortable listening with the relentless noisy instrumentation and pained vocals. But this is exactly what draws me to Cattle and other bands in the ‘noise’ scene. They relish in taking you out of your comfort zone and demand you take notice. Well, I like to be out of my comfort zone and I took notice of Cattle. And I’m definitely following the herd.

~

Live dates:

Cattle can be found on their Facebook page.

Words by Ioan Humphreys. More writing by Ioan can be found at his author’s archive. You can also find him on Twitter at @ioan_humphreys.

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