Fighting Catz - "s/t"
(self released EPK + Music CD-R)
From Aural Innovations #31 (June 2005)
The Fighting Catz from the Greater L.A. area are just sending around an "Electronic Press Kit" containing a CD-ROM with flashy bullshit (at least it's completely useless to get further information or just to take a pic from it for an article) and an audio CD-R with wonderful music. It's exactly that kind of package that you usually don't review as you as a reviewer don't know what a customer would get in the end. But as the audio part is offered at CD Baby for just $10.00, you'll probably make no mistake if you buy it in the case that you like this kind of completely improvised yet highly sophisticated music that these Catz are presenting.
The Fighting Catz are Camilo Otero on guitar, guitar synth, computer loops and turntable, Tony Montalvo on drums, percussion and e-drums, Ale Leda on bass, Keven Brennan on tenor sax, bass clarinet and percussion, and "Robyn" (Robin Brennan, I guess) with her most beautiful voice on one tune. The CD-R contains four instrumental pieces played completely live with no overdubs, and one studio remix piece with the mentioned vocals. The music is mostly funky Jazz played with a high Rock energy by most gifted and experienced musicians. The jams are presented as long, but not overlong, conversations between people who have something to say - to each other and to the audience. Rather not experimental in the musical content, it's the brilliant performances that thrills and gives the whole thing an edge of "high culture". It's comparable to the best that the so called Fusion music had to offer in the Seventies of the last century, and in a certain sense even better as the obvious un-decisiveness whether it's Rock or Jazz of some of the Seventies' Fusion bands doesn't occur: In the case of the Fighting Catz it's none of them exactly, and both at the same time.
Go out there and record more fine music of this kind - maybe a double CD with live and studio recordings (but a change of the press promoter and the website designer is strongly recommended). The audio part of this "EPK" is a VERY tasty appetizer and probably a good means to get gig offers. Waiting for their opus magnum... The Fighting Catz surely have the potential to become a great and widely acknowledged band.
For more information you can visit the Fighting Catz web site at: http://www.fightingcatz.com.
Reviewed by Frank Gingeleit