COUGARS – Pillow Talk
For the past four years my high school has pounded into my head the motto, “It’s a great day to be a Cougar!” As for Go-Kart Records band Cougars and their sophomore full-length release Pillow Talk, this eight-man band would be better off going back into hibernation. The idea of trying to break the mold and explore new musical avenues should always be encouraged, but this is almost taking things too far. Cougars take dueling guitars and frantic vocals and throw a two-man horns section into the fray and seem to just hope something coherent comes out. They fail for the most part. The music itself isn’t that bad, it has what I would imagine could be considered a “death ska” vibe. That is, heavy drums and buzz-saw guitars with the horns in the background. Pillow Talk was recorded on analog tape, which is cool for obtaining that old gritty punk rock sound, but when the vocals are barely audible, the upgrade to a digital format might not hurt. Not to mention, the horns seem so far off in the distance. Cougars have created a musical traffic jam nightmare with Pillow Talk, one that is nigh impossible to navigate in any coherent manner. It’s best to go around this album.
(Go-Kart Records, PO Box 20, Prince Street Station, New York, NY, 10012)