Cross Eyed Cats
Coming in at number 7 in the Australian Blues Top 25 Radio Chart is the Cross Eyed Cats’ new album “Just Messin’”. This album is great, it’s gritty, earthy and above all else, it’s real. Their sound is classic Chicago blues, their beats are toe-tappin and their tunes are like period pieces from the 1950’s-1960’s. When I listened to their album, I half expected the Blues Brothers to pop out and do some funky boogie. They’ve got a bit of Mark Knopfler and a bit of Hendrix guiding the fingers of the lead guitarist to add a bit of rock, like in the song “Leave My Little Girl Alone”. The interspersed harmonica makes their whole sound so very blues and most of their songs are completely lifted by the harmonica, they just know how to use the instrument in moderation and because of their restraint, the times when the harmonica comes in are just bliss, as it is with any classic slow blues beat and then there’s a surprise guitar riff. Sublime, in my opinion. For example “Help Me” really sounds like it should be on the soundtrack to American Pickers or something, something Southern.
The best part is that when I first picked up their tunes I straightaway thought they were a genuine blues band from the period, but alas, the Cross Eyed Cats formed in 2002 in Fremantle in Western Australia. While their career as a band has been on and off, they’ve released the album Just Messin’ for our enjoyment, just because they’re a bloody good blues band. They sound authentically blues and this is so refreshing in light of the current music industry, especially coming from a small time Australian band. They’ve got depth and this album shows that they’re on the prowl again for a bit of fun. The Cross Eyed Cats are polished and familiar, which makes their music easy listening and comfortable. There is really nothing I would add to the album, their four members cover all the necessary bases; Bass, drums, harmonica, guitar and vocals. They’re not pretentious, they’re just a great, real, gritty sound.
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