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Kick the Cat: Gurgle

I was recently chatting on the Sea of Tranquility YouTube channel and made the comment “There’s nothing better than hearing great musicianship”. Someone happened to respond stating “without a good song, it doesn’t matter how good the musicians are”. You know what, he was exactly right. Hearing a great musician is like seeing a beautiful woman, they may initial blow you away, but if there is no substance, you will eventually get bored. Chicago based Kick the Cat is full of substance, playing a diverse mix of fusion, prog, and other influences sprinkled over the top. This band does not disappoint as there is not a weak track to be found here.

The opening “Ow! My Eye” has a great driving beat and bassline, and could very well be my favorite song, the keyboard playing here is stellar. The pounding off time rhythms of “That Stuff That’s Tough”, display an amazing intensity and tightness. As heavy and tight as this song is, there is a tension and release happening, as sections of piano change the feel of the song and allow it to breathe before the pounding comes back. I’m immediately hooked, this is really good.

My favorites on the album include “Harebrained”, a track that slowly simmers with a funky creeping groove and a sitar like effect over the top. A very melodic keyboard section takes you a bit off course, only to be brought back in as the band returns to that slow groove, but kick the tempo into high gear adding additional funk flavor. The guitar (Chris Siebold) and keyboard (Vijay Tellis-Nayak) soloing are fantastic throughout. You get the bluesy feel in “Adolpho’s Dilemma” which I believe adds vibes to the mix. The intricate, catchy, and upbeat melodies of “Waz Up”, feature chicken pickin’, wonderful organ, and if this does not get your toes tapping, not sure what will. A simple melodic guitar line draws you in to the calmer “Lost Friends”, and I detect a bit of church music influence in some of the organ playing. You can take a breath here and relax and enjoy the pleasing melodies. “Irrational Exuberance” features more fantastic interplay between the band members and the trade- off solos between the guitar and keyboards has been putting a smile on my face every time I listen. Don’t ignore the rhythm section of Kris Myer’s (Drums) who also plays with Umphrey’s McGee, and Chris Clemente (bass) as they are as tight as it gets. Also, props to Clemente’s fretless bass work on the lovely track “Hear You Can See”, which also features some amazing keyboard solos.

The beauty of this album lies in the diversity; each song is unique, and highly melodic, but does not sacrifice on intensity or the chops we love. Honestly, I could talk about every track, they are all excellent, if you are a fusion fan this is a must have, and will be on my list of favorites for 2021.

Track Listing
1. Ow! My Eye 04:49
2. Adolpho's Dilemma 06:55
3. Harebrained 09:15
4. Hope Against Hope 05:21
5. Hear You Can See 06:37
6. Gurgle Emphysema 05:05
7. That Stuff That's Tough 08:02
8. Waz Up 05:57
9. Lost Friends 05:17
10. Irrational Exuberance 06:30
11. Alt de Facto 05:04

Added: October 3rd 2021
Reviewer: Eric Porter
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1388
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Kick the Cat: Gurgle
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2021-10-04 01:16:43
My Score:

Boy, do I love a good fusion record, and Gurgle, the fourth full-length from Chicago's Kick the Cat, is a fantastic set of smokin' musical chops and memorable compositions. Seemingly taking their cue from the best of Tribal Tech, The Elektric Band, and perhaps Brand X, Kick the Cat feature plenty of smoldering rhythms that allow those memorable melodies and barnstorming guitar & keyboard solos to launch into the heavens. "Ow! My Eye" is simply mindblowing, the groove undeniable, the spacey keys, the shredding guitars, and that's just the first doesn't let up from there. There's the playful "Adolpho's Dilemma", the ominous & atmospheric "Harebrained", the funky "Hope Against Hope", the Weather Report influenced "Gurgle Emphysema", and the killer fusion romps "That Stuff That's Tough" and "Waz Up". Expert musicianship and catchy hooks appear throughout, and by the time you get to the end of Gurgle you'll be wanting to press play all over again, and then go investigate the rest of this fantastic bands back catalog. Superb!

» Reader Comments:

Kick the Cat: Gurgle
Posted by Molly Whipple on 2021-10-26 18:51:19
My Score:

Big thanks to SoT for introducing me to this recording and group. Very listenable fusion. I'll definitely check out the other two available recordings as soon as budget allows.

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