PETER CAT – The Magus

Peter Cat 2022

The Magus

Caledonian auteur exposes hypocrites by enshrouding their lonesome ways in colorful tapestry.

Scotland has long had it with straightforward pop, so lately there’s been a lot of action on the quirky side of things – something that “The Saccharine Underground” by this Glaswegian songmonger, as he prefers to be seen as, embodied quite well. The 2020 album’s follow-up EP “The Magus” feels even more leftfield, edging into nuanced avant-garde to evoke images of dystopian deception and wrap the disturbing aural pictures in an array of weirdly sweet tunes. Here’s darkness, of course, but Peter Cat’s is a velveteen sort of gloom which many should find delicious.

The taste of things will be offered in “Blue Raspberry” whose groove, alluringly drenched in a synthesizers’ belch and guitars’ wobble, could seem shoegazey were it not for the piece’s inner uplift – a spiritual, if twisted, melodic path leading Graham Gillespie’s baritone towards celestial delight – and its ever-shifting analogue background. However, the gossamer tones of the platter’s title track and the spoken word intro create a cinematic panorama to compact the claustrophobic perspective into a misplaced slab of funky dread and spike this existential experiment with anthemic choruses.

As a result, the camp “Melon Dating Simulator!!” fails to surprise the listener when the artist’s Scott Walker-like vocals meet a Gary Numanesque electronica, while the vaudevillian mini-epic “Disappearing Act” – recorded on a 1895 German piano to emphasize the number’s Weimar vibe is genuinely gorgeous, Gillespie’s theatrical delivery and faux-orchestral polyphony giving this ballad a multidimensional depth. Once it’s sacrificed to silence, the listener has no other option but to spin the record again and see the all the cuts in a different – magical – light.


January 23, 2022

Category(s): Reviews
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