Chainsaw Kittens

Angel on the Range

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This seven-song mini-album, produced by UK boardsman Chris Allison in a slightly rougher style than Singapore, showed a changed Kittens. Meade was still front and center, of course, but Bell was now the main guitarist in place of the departed Metzger, while the rhythm section was wholly new again, with bassist Matt Johnson and drummer Eric Harmon. Quality suffered not a jot, happily, and the group did what it does best, kicking out the snarling guitar jams with sass and style. Meade sounds hoarse at points -- either the rehearsals were intense or he had just come off tour -- but aside from that, it's one fine blast after another. The title track is one of the best Kittens songs around, a T. Rex-tinged acoustic guitar/drum stomp with some great electric guitar crunch, dramatic pauses and sweet production touches to boot. "John Wayne Dream," with its snarky references to being on the prairie with "a boy, a priest and a mule," is a funny and giddy romp, while "Sgt. Whore" has a nicely queasy feel to it, accentuated by the slightly buried piano line and crackling feedback. Bell takes lead vocals on the concluding "Little Fishies," a goofy little jam.

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