Hourglass Cats-432 EP

The Hourglass Cats describe themselves as “Funky Fresh Latin Reggae and Rock’N’Roll”, but this energetic six piece comes across as mostly good time Ska. This comes across quite clearly on the opening track for their debut EP released this summer.”Keep Steppin’” is a perfect slice of Ska that invites the fun to get started right away on the 432 EP. It also features keys courtesy of Sean Lee from The Veragroove. This brings me back to the days when the two-tone sound ruled the British Mod scene in the early 80s as the world recovered from punk in various ways. There were a lot more silly dances associated with the sound back then, but it’s probably best that part is forgotten. This is one of my favorite tracks for the sense of perfectly executed nostalgia alone. The Cats rock it out a bit harder on “Havoc”, certainly for the intro, but by the end it’s fusing Ska brilliantly with reggae and rock.  As with the opener, “Havoc” is a single ready song that could gain some appreciative listeners beyond their fervent niche audience, those who like their reggae mixed with a bit of a harder edge, but the classic horn laden outro of the song makes me smile wide every time.”Sense” is the soft sweet love song in the middle of the record, an ode to a certain “Mary Jane” that grows straight from the ground, when you consider the bands initials spell out THC, it’s no surprise that the token “Love Song” is about cannabis. It also happens to be pretty brilliant. A dreamy song about getting high in no uncertain terms, it also has a fantastic power pop chorus hook that electrifies things between the mellow verses. “I love her, she loves me, what gets in the way will make yourself sorry…you need to quit clear cutting my baby down, it ain’t her fault she grows straight from the ground” is well spoken love indeed.

With a title like “Punching Puppies, Kicking Kittens” you would anticipate it being a searing rocker and you would not be wrong—this is the closest The Hourglass Cats get to straight out rock’n’roll and it stands out for its lack of latin or reggae flourishes. Not only is there some serious guitar work, the entire song revolves around a brilliant bass line reminiscent of “Ball of Confusion.”  This is another single ready song and it may garner a whole different breed of listeners who may be surprised when they hear the rest of The Hourglass Cats body of work, because this song ROCKS so fucking hard. The live favorite “Yoga Butt” is an acoustic hip hop track that is great for a smile and a laugh, it’s so outrageous lyrically and completely misogynist, but presented so tongue in cheek it can’t be taken seriously. High amusement and unless you are completely devoid of a sense of humor there is no way you could be offended by this. The chorus is even delivered as if it is a loving ode and it’s not like you don’t know what they are talking about. You may even find yourself singing “She’s got a Yoga Butt, It makes me want to say ‘What’s Up’”, laughing all the while. The hidden track “The Prospector” closes out the EP in a live acoustic performance recorded from a session on the KWSS show Driving With Gass. It’s a great song and I hope a studio version finds its way to their next album or EP, but this recording proves that The Hourglass Cats can hold their own when stripped down to bare bones on a live radio show. The 432 EP is a fun filled document of The Hourglass Cats and its six songs display their talents quite well. If you think the EP is great, you should check out the uproarious live shows. One of these is coming up on Friday at Last Exit Live, please see all the details below.

Reggae/ Rock / Acoustic Showcase At Last Exit Live

The Hourglass Cats
HIRIE (Hawaii)
Catfish Mustache

Get tickets: http://ticketf.ly/17Y9TB2

You Can Purchase 432 on iTunes Now: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/432-ep/id650507440