Album, Single and EP Reviews



  The Province Complains by Cats on Fire

The Province Complains cover art

Artist: Cats on Fire
Title: The Province Complains
Catalogue Number: Marsh-Marigold Records MARI26
Review Format: CD
Release Year: 2007

Cats on Fire are from Finland but all the songs on this album are in English. A wise choice for a band that could well prove to be a dominating force in popular music across Europe.

This is an interesting collection of songs that seems to reprise British pop music from the sixties to the eighties. Having said that, "Born Again Christian" has a jaunty, quasi-Motown feel to it. "The Smell of an Artist", however, could have fallen off any of the happier Smiths' albums. Mattias Bjorkas' vocals are those of a proper performer and he sells every song and you would be a fool if you did not want to buy them as well. "Mesmer and Reason" would turn any self respecting music lover into a teenager again. It takes you right back to the clean living, pre-Madonna age of pop music. "Draw in the Rains" pushes the energy level up along with the tempo in a sure-fire crowd pleaser for the American market. If we had to pick a favourite song then it would be the dreamily hypnotic "Heat and Romance".

So there you have it. An album that sounds like a cross between the Smiths and Cliff & the Shadows. Performed with verve and no small amount of style, it would make the ideal soundtrack to a movie where a Morrissey and Sir Cliff refit an old London bus and go away on a continental holiday together. Delightfully camp in its own way, this is all that a pop album should be and you should all do the socially responsible thing and buy it.
Review Date: October 12 2007