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Cats In Space: Daytrip To Narnia

I’ve made no secret of my love of the first two Cats In Space albums, Too Many Gods and Scarecrow. Nor have I been able to disguise my excitement at the prospect of taking a Daytrip To Narnia with this wonderfully back glancing but forward looking outfit. That anticipation has also come with a little trepidation… difficult third album anyone?

Nah, don’t be daft mister, not for this lot! In fact Cats In Space have not only lived up to expectations, they’ve pulled the tablecloth from under the perfectly undisturbed crockery with a flourish that confirms their sure handedness. Daytrip To Narnia is different, it’s evolution and it’s maturity, however it still sounds exactly like Cats In Space and therefore like 10CC, Supertramp, Boston, early Queen and, well, basically, everything that was good about the 70s rock scene - and a lot was good about the 70s rock scene!

Lyrically the band are also tackling all of the key, vital and topical issues of the day - “Hologram Man” dissecting the farce of deceased rock stars somehow still going on tour, “Narnia” all about the dichotomy of the heritage rock act stuck playing the hits of old in wig wearing, no new material please, time machine fashion, while “Tragic Alter Ego” examines the issue from tribute band, gimmick-mimic style. If you were looking for political comment, or an eco-message, then thankfully you’ll be sorely disappointed and much more entertained because of it.

Musically things are even more sound and solid, “She Talks Too Much” adding the quirk and squirt of Sparks to the CIS mix and, dare I say, maybe outdoing where the inspiration comes from? It’s also instantly memorable as it digs a path deep into the recesses of your mind. ELO spring to fore through the guitar solo of “Silver & Gold” - a song about the shiny platters hanging on rock star’s walls - whereas it’s singer Paul Manzi who stars, in the most Brad Delp like of ways, on the soaring and heart tugging “Chasing Diamonds”.

On their own this collection of shimmering delights would be more than enough for me to tell you that yes, Cats In Space have got the cream yet again and, thankfully, are once more desperate to share that silky smooth goodness with us all. And then the glorious mini-rock opera, “The Story Of Johnny Rocket”, launches and takes us to new, ripping, roaring, and utterly soaring heights. Here we’re dealing with life, love, hopes, dreams and… whether man landed on the moon or not!

Split into seven tracks, the themes unfold in glorious style, “Thunder In The Night” sounding like the big brother of the KISS album Dynasty after an unforgettable night spent between the sheets with 10CC - disco rock-tastic - and unashamedly so! While the guitar solo on “Johnny Rocket”, rips and burns for all its worth.

Looking for something more epic? Then that’s covered in the sumptuous over the topness of “Twilight”, while the uplifting melancholy of “Yesterday’s News” is a stunning change of pace. The acoustic-strummed pop rock of “Destination Unknown” then closes the album out with the sort of heart on sleeve sing-a-long that you thought got lost some 4 decades ago, but are delighted to find has been discovered once more.

Three albums in and Cats In Space show no signs of slowing down, no signs or dropping their standards and no signs that they aren’t one of the most exciting, exhilarating and authentic acts out there. Daytrip To Narnia? On this evidence, let’s just damn well live there.

Track Listing
1. Narnia
2. She Talks Too Much
3. Hologram Man
4. Tragic Alter Ego
5. Silver & Gold
6. Chasing Diamonds
7. Unicorn - ‘The Story Of Johnny Rocket’: Space Overture
8. Johnny Rocket
9. Thunder In The Night
10. One Small Step
11. Twilight
12. Yesterday’s News
13. Destination Unknown

Added: March 16th 2019
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Cats In Space online
Hits: 1546
Language: english

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