Big Electric Cat

Burning Embers

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With the band already a darling of the Los Angeles-based Cleopatra label via its stunning Dreams of a Mad King debut, Australia's Big Electric Cat continued to forge its industrial-edged goth, drifting even farther from its original dark pop aspirations with 1995's Burning Embers. Still driving its sound around a drum machine, Cat nevertheless brought a rich texture to the set, from the eerie opener "Red Roses," which inexplicably has got some skein of deviant spaghetti Western running through the melody, through the sweet disco of "Christabel," which ghosts Bono-ish vocals through Joy Division glasses -- hybrids that ensure that what should have been stale emerged a startlingly fresh recipe, enhanced by "Twisting Man" and "Paris Skyes." (Additional remixes of both the latter and "Red Roses" round out the album.) By no means ever regarded as a band of great goth gurus, Big Electric Cat still managed to acquire quite a healthy following, displaying its wares across one further album. But, though Burning Embers is alive with some interesting tricks, it's still a delicious sin to wonder where it might have gone had the bandmembers followed their original jangled tangle to fruition.

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