There are multiple modern day touchpoints for "Woodcat;" what sprang immediately to mind, though, was Christian gloomsters 16 Horsepower crossed with the Violent Femmes' second album "Hallowed Ground," minus the fun songs. The male vocals eerily ape Gordon Gano with shrieking female counterpoint somewhere at the intersection of Thalia Zedek (Live Skull, Come) and the banshee wails of Bjork. Only on "Ulu" does the conceit become overbearing; the remaining tunes offer surprising twists on familiar themes, including "Dangerous Minds," Dancin'" and opener "Jack (Call to Arms)." The intelligent arrangements contrast the backwoods kitsch with "Threepenny Opera"-ish accordion and viola. This is an accomplished and ambitious disc with ideas informed equally by the cabaret of Brecht/Weill and more contemporary chamber acts like Explosions in the Sky and Godspeen YBE! "Woodcat" stands a strong local release for 2006, and appropriate soundtrack to a screening of Robert Mitchum's "Night of the Hunter" or a roll in the sack with your sister. Read more on Last.fm.
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