Wax Cat is the third album from Oxfordshire band The August List who are married couple Martin and Kerraleigh Child. Having seen them live once at Ace Space in Newbury a few years back I’m glad to get the chance to review their latest offering.
The album is certainly an eclectic mix of songs which makes it very difficult to pigeonhole in a specific genre, but there is something for most people.
It starts with a heavy beat, various electronic noises and the lead vocal of Kerraleigh on ‘Seams’ which made me wonder if I’d been sent an album which was some sort of merge of Transvision Vamp and the Bangles, that said it is the perfect opening track for this album.
‘Puget Sound’ has Martin on lead vocals and is a slower song, but with has great crescendos of drums and guitar in it. ‘God Is In Wire’ brings back the female vocal and more crashing guitar.
‘Lost At Sea’ is a more melodic song altogether, it’s probably my favourite track and Martin’s voice combined with the song style put me mind of Mumford & Sons. ‘Distorted Mountain’ shows the range of Kerraleigh’s vocals and is another track with a great thumping drum back beat and superb guitar work.
‘I Might Get Low’ takes the mood down and is bit ethereal in tone whereas ‘Wheelhouse’ is a short two minutes of frenetic energy, fast electric guitar and drums.
‘Crooked Starlight’ is a surprisingly gentle instrumental which takes you into the final track, which is a cover of The Diamond Family Archive’s ‘Big Black Dog’. It starts with what sounds like an orchestra tuning up to a drum solo for almost a minute, but then gets mournful and ethereal and builds up to a big finish.
Martin and Kerraleigh are helped by local musicians Ben Heaney (violin), Tommy Longfellow (drums) and Ryan Quarterman (bass). It was recorded between 2018-20 at Strawhouse Studios by Richard Neuberg, except ‘God Is In A Wire’ (Rowland Prytherch). It was mixed by Rowland and mastered by Tim Turan.
I must admit on first hearing I wasn’t sure about this album, but it is what I call a grower as it takes a few listens to get into it and get into it I did. I’ll certainly featuring a track on my Folkin’ Around radio show and be looking to see where they are gigging in the near future.
Artist’s website: www.theaugustlist.bandcamp.com/releases
‘God Is In A Wire’ – official video: