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Cats on Fire - Our Temperance Movement

  by Tommy Gunnarsson

published: 9 / 5 / 2009

Cats on Fire - Our Temperance Movement
Label: How Does It Feel to Be Loved ?
Format: CD


Fine second album from Finnish band Cats on Fire, who have moved on it from being an indiepop to a folk act

The press release that came with this album speaks of Finnish music consisting almost entirely of heavy metal and other rock acts on the harder edge of the rock spectrum. It lists names such as Hanoi Rocks, HIM, The Rasmus and Lordi (Of course, you remember them -that weird troll-heavy metal band that won the Eurovision a couple of years ago…). I’m not really surprised that they have done this, as it suits Cats On Fire perfectly. They really want to be that alienated, maladjusted pop band that was formed out of pure frustration, with posters of Morrissey and Marr on their walls. But if you take a closer look at the Finnish music scene, you will discover several pop bands, both present and past, that are from a similar vein. In the 90s there were Supperheads and Poverty Stinks, who were both quite good, and nowadays there are a lot of fantastic combos, like Ultrasport, Harry Hunks, TV Resistori and Red Carpet, to name but a few. So, they are not alone, whether they like it or not. But don’t get me wrong here. I like Cats On Fire. I like them a lot. Their first album, 'The Province Complains', was one of the best records of 2007, and the singles and EPs that were released prior to that were equally fantastic (check out the song 'The Smell of an Artist' if you don’t believe me). Sometimes I think singer Mattias Björkås is a bit too much with all his posing. Their new and second album, 'Our Temperance Movement', kicks off with a song that actually made me look one more time at the sleeve to make sure that I had put the correct CD into my stereo. But I did. So, Cats On Fire have gone from being an indiepop act to being a folk music band. I didn’t see that one coming. It is quite good, and a few songs into the album, there are as an added some of those lovely, classic Finnish pop songs (sung in English, of course) that they do so well. 'Lay Down Your Arms' opens with Mattias doing some kind of Elvis impersonation (which suits his quiff quite well), but then turns into a first class pop song. 'The Steady Pace' is also just beautiful! The single 'Tears in Your Cup' almost made me laugh, as it sounds more like Moneybrother (a band/sometimes one-man band that is very popular in Sweden) than Cats On Fire, which is another influence I didn't really see coming. 'Our Temperance Movement' is not as good as the first album, but it’s still a good record. If you are one of those that still think Finland is equal to saunas, vodka and heavy metal, then this is maybe your wake-up call?

Track Listing:-
1 Tears In Your Cup
2 Garden Lights
3 Letters from a Voyage to Sweden
4 Never Sell the House
5 The Steady Pace
6 Lay Down Your Arms
7 Fabric
8 Horoscope
9 The Borders of This Land
10 Our Days in the Sun

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All Blackshirts to Me (2012)
Instnly appealing and catchy third album from Finland-based indie pop act, Cats on Fire
Dealing in Antiques (2010)

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