Summer Cats - Songs for Tuesdays (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Summer Cats

Songs for Tuesdays (2009)


In 2008, Melbourne's Summer Cats released a fantastic little EP by the name of Passion Pop on the tiny Wee Pop label. The EP was named after a carbonated wine beverage of their native Australia and was one of those delightful descriptive moments where a band's name or album title is perfectly reflective of their sound. It appears I wasn't the only one that took notice of the band's fuzzy pop gems as legendary indie pop Slumberland Records agreed to put out the band's full-length, Songs for Tuesdays.

While Passion Pop seemed to gravitate a bit closer to the clean guitar sound of traditional British tweeism, it did add in just the right amount of noise with the pop, working that binary for some great dynamics. The songwriting on Songs for Tuesdays takes a somewhat different approach, creating a feeling that resembles the England of Harold Wilson as much as it does Thatcher or Major. Take, for instance, the chorus of "Super" or the tambourine-assisted "nah-nah-nah" of "Let's Go!", which are straight out of the British Invasion playbook with its stupid catchy stuttering repetition. That's not to say the band is a simple one trick pony, as the acoustic-propelled "In June" could be a shoe-in for an early '90s Julian Hatfield tune, with alternating male and female vocals adding that little extra to pull the listener in. "Wild Rice" is the clear winner of the album though, with very slight country accents including a killer harmonica.

What will probably remain the somewhat unsung hero of this record is the organ playing that drives the aforementioned "Super" and "Camel Cords." Unlike so many other bands the keys aren't there simply as background or an afterthought, but oftentimes it is more memorable than the guitar riffs. I suppose if you hate organ, though, this wouldn't be the record for you; of course, you'd be drunk off wrongness.

The album ends as it begins with the rumble of distortion, nicely tying together the album's project. For a debut full-length, Summer Cats have done a marvelous job of making the album feel like a single idea, Songs for Tuesdays is a perfect album to listen to playing hooky and going for a bike ride or making pancakes or something equally joyous. Sure, you've probably heard something like this before, but rarely is it done this good. A near-perfect slice of pop perfection.