Smile Politely

B-Sides: May 2014

Slip behind the wheel of a rat rod with road signs welded in place of floorboards, light up a Lucky, and crank the stereo — Bad Catman will provide the soundtrack for your trip to nowhere. The Urbana-based trio took time out from bashing and bludgeoning ear drums live to record 11 tracks for the full-length The Cat’s Out of the Bag, and they managed to commit just a hint of their intensity to record.

Track 1, “Couchsurfing,” and #2, “Prison Break,” are reminiscent of rockabilly acts, but then the sound moves into rough-hewn, Irish-inspired drinking rock, gelled with punk sensibilities (or lack thereof) and sweat. Highlights include the two cuts mentioned above, as well as “The Great Train Wreck of 1918” (track 6) and #9, “Raise Hell.”

Dirtier, grittier than The Stray Cats, angrier and more gravely than Reverend Horton Heat, this is music to pound the bar to — songs for hard drinking and loud singing. Perfect for a crowded bar or a basement rock show. Either way, tie one on and turn it up. — Jason Brown

T.R.U.T.H. — Luxocracy

Long gone are the days where a female rapper can actually interest me by what she says. Well, good thing for me and the rest of you, there’s Luxocracy by local rapper T.R.U.T.H., and boy, does she have a lot to say. This is her debut mixtape that shows that not only can her words of poetry flow like water down a stream, but she can also flow her words to the rhythm of popular beats and production. This is the mixtape you want to hear when you just had a long day and you just want to kick back and relax. The flow is something like nasty grittiness meets educated and elegance. It’s amazing how good and how hard she goes on this mixtape. And it’s something you have to actually listen to and once you do, in some ways it’s very personal and you’ll learn a lot more about the woman behind the mic. Don’t just take it from me, listen to Luxocracy for yourself. — Taylor Polydore

Decadents — “I’d Rather Be Lonely”/”Drop Dead Mama”

Decadents is definitely a band that you listen to when you just want to rock out with your… well, you know the rest. The music just makes you feel good, something you listen to when you need to get a little pep in your step.
“I’d Rather Be Lonely” is solid all around — simple yet smooth lyrics that make you want to make more out of your musical fantasies, especially with the straight instrumentals that start at the very beginning. Then the soft but strong vocals come through and it really just ties in the entire feel of the song.
“Drop Dead Mama” is a bit more authentic in the rock start feel. The vocals sound a tad bit country-esque mixed with rock, but still manages a fun sound. Everything about the sound is hard-hitting and is interesting to hear as a listener. All around, this set of singles is a good indicator of what will come next for Decadents. — Taylor Polydore


B-Sides is a monthly article designated for local albums released that might get overlooked for feature articles, but are definitely worth discussing. If you’re interested in your band’s record being featured on B-Sides, let us know at [email protected] Note: Because some albums featured in B-Sides are released at the end of the previous month, we sometimes bump them to the next month.

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