Despite its cover art a stark blue all over, the debut EP from Sydney’s post-punk supergroup Cat Heaven will make you feel anything but. A veritable Avengers of DIY talent comprising members of Mere Women, No Art, Hira Hira and Nice Guys – produced by the inimitable Jay Whalley of Frenzal Rhomb, too – the record seeps from every pore with virtuosity.
Guitars are rough and raw but tear through the mix with impossible brightness – every fizzling line will stick to your eardrums, but the deep and driving vocals wash them down with a polarising edge. There’s a bit of a Sonic Youth vibe in the riffage, Matt Saliba fretting to his heart’s content without a hiccup. He and frontwoman Trischelle Roberts gel effortlessly in the mix – Roberts’ bass yields a raucous punch to counteract Saliba’s grit.
Much like its cover art (which, sidenote, looks a little like the upstairs of Sydney’s iconic Red Ratter), Living Room is titled misleadingly – this is a record that belongs square in the middle of a dark venue packed to the rafters, belting from the PA in all of its eruptive fervour.
Review by Matt Doria