On the final night of last year’s MidPoint Music Festival extravaganza, an old man dropped into The Drinkery to grab a beer, catch his breath and absorb a few minutes of Sol Cat’s soulful Psych/Dance/Pop, which had reminded him at least a little of Walk the Moon’s similarly adrenalized output. He’d expected an out-of-town show to be sparsely attended, which would theoretically allow him a seat at the bar and a chance to recharge for the remainder of the night.
Instead, The Drinkery was asshole-to-elbow with writhing humanity and Nashville’s Sol Cat was doing its level best to incite the sardine-packed crowd to even greater heights of rhythmic frenzy with a soundtrack that was equal parts Indie Rock volume and Dance intensity.
Any gentility that was present in the tracks posted on their website was completely overpowered by Sol Cat’s hyper-caffeinated live translation, and the near-capacity crowd was reflecting the band’s energy with last-Saturday-night-on-earth abandon.
The old man wound up recharged in a completely unexpected and soul-nourishing fashion.
It’s not hard to understand Sol Cat’s hypnotic appeal. There are moments on their eponymous debut and their three-track Welcome to Cowabunga EP, both released last year, that suggest the Red Hot Chili Peppers as produced by Brian Eno or Modest Mouse fronted by the Tubes’ Fee Waybill. The sextet exists in a weirdly cool nether realm where Electronic atmospherics intersect with Indie Rock passion and Psych/Garage fuckuppery, creating a hybrid that hammers, pulses and grooves with a gauzy yet focused authority.
And that’s just in the studio; in a live context, all restraint evaporates like sweat in Death Valley. Not bad for an outfit just four years into its evolution.And that old man at last year’s MidPoint? He’s even older now, and he still thinks Sol Cat is the shizznit.
SOL CAT plays The Drinkery on Tuesday, April 22. Venue info here.