Although sonically it doesn’t sound like it, especially given the rewriting of its own history that the genre has applied to itself, Rwandan Energy, the opening track of New Bohemia, reminds me of everything that punk music promised, and largely failed, to deliver. You take a retro pop riff and use it as a vehicle to deliver any moans and gripes that you have about the world around you without much concern for, finesse, fine-tuning or production. And the result, as found here, is a song of simple, belligerent beauty.
And having shot their snarling load with this opening salvo, The Cats’ seem to slow down as the EP progresses. Can’t Let You Go, is a less snarling version of the simple riff opener, Barrett’s Homage feels like a college rock work in progress and Cruelty is a love-lorn ballad of the type that young men have been singing since the first caveman got dumped in favour of the guy who had recently invented fire.
There is an honesty and innocence at work with New Bohemia. Sure, it is rough around the edges but you can’t deny that it comes from the heart. And for those who favour substance over style, feeling over technique and if you think of these songs as sketches ofa sound yet to be fully realised, then it really makes you wonder what they would sound like if there was a decent budget avilable. Let’s wait and see.