Bring out the banjo. Have a blow on that harmonica. Fiddles and clarinets are optional. Set the BPMs to 75 or so and let's settle in for some fine tunes and philosophical discussions. Listeners, it's the second instalment of Cat Malojian and their excellent twang 'n' strum scheme.
Last year, Stevie Scullion and Jonathan Toman gave us the sublime 'Life Rolls On' release. It was closer to Alison Krauss than the Arctic Monkeys, and there were no apologies in that respect. This Lurgan duo were drawing on Appalachian music, on mountain songs and bluegrass tunes. Sure, the music may also have been informed by cool names like Lambchop and Will Oldham, but it was essentially square and proud of it.
'Life Rolls On' made a Vodaphone advert and may have helped to bankroll this new release. As before, it sounds sweet and sedate, the kind of expression that comes late at night on the front porch, nicely oiled by some corn liquor. 'We're Alright' feels the love and reminds you of those charming old Harry Nilsson records.
'Have Mercy On Me' carries a hint of remorse, like the scratchy feeling of Sunday's best shirt. But with 'Planets' the infatuation returns. Stevie's voice is breathless and cracked, like Elliott Smith or Rick Danko from The Band. It's a delight.
They round off the CD with a live recording of 'Bad Company'. The rambling boy is overly fond of the whiskey, hanging out with unreliable friends and getting loaded. His mama is threatening to evict him, but the drink is still calling and the live audience are whooping with encouragement. Cheers, then. It really is cool for cats.