Review by Jamie Canavan
You can’t put a camel through the eye of a needle and you can’t get a straight answer from from a politician. We’ve all met these people – whether its the politician spewing shite on TV, or the lad who has you cornered at the bar who has some questions for you about your t-shirt.
The Sewer Cats opens their debut album Cute Aggression from TNS Records demanding a straight answer from our politicians. The song is pleading for those in power to quite literally ‘Answer the question?’:
“What will it take for you to say it straight?”
We’ve all seen them do all types of dances, back-bends, and elaborate metaphors before they give us any kind of direct response.
Manchester punk duo, The Sewer Cats is Cass (she/her) on vocals and drums and Josh (he/him) on guitar.
Answer the Question moves into track 2, Delia. Delia is inspired by ‘Delia’s Gone,’ a historic folk song made famous by Johnny Cash, widely considered to have been written about the murder of Delia Green, a 14-year-old black American who was murdered by her 15 year old boyfriend – sang from the perspective of the murderer. As the Sewer Cats stated,
‘When, violence against women is talked about, women are all too often robbed of their own agency and story’. PREACH. ‘Cass thought it might be an interesting idea to write a reply to Delia’s Gone from Delia’s point of view.’
“If you weren’t such a useless lover, maybe I’d be here now. Oh baby, I could have escaped with my life but I’ll never be a wife.”
Delia transitions into ‘My Dark One’ with a hard bassline. Cass’ vocals are hard and loud a whispered My Dark One sprinkled throughout the background until the tempo picks up in what I imagine would be a real moment for the pit. It’s a short and fun song that transitions quickly into ‘Sausage fest’:
“Lord, save me from the sausage fest”
(We’ve all been there).
Next up is ‘Shit in your hands and clap’ and would’ya know it provides a clap-a-long beat before the pickup – BYO shit.
‘English Spaghetti’ follows and the beat is sooo fun, I desperately need to see this live.
“I’ve got a recipe for disaster, I call it English spaghetti.”
Is it a comment on working class food and judgement or is it an ode to a classic meal? You decide. ‘Will to Survive’ could be from the point of view of someone in the pandemic lockdown, someone having a depression hide out, or someone who has been kidnapped — either way, I’m sure we can all relate.
I immediately sent ‘Can’t quit you now’ to one of my friends who are in the midst of a f***boy-mind-f*** (it could be any one of us, any given Sunday). It’s catchy and is making it very difficult for me to sit still as I write this in a cafe outside my work. Next the break down starts and Cass asks What do I know about men? In a similar manner to ‘Delia,’ ‘What do I know about men’ references the many roles women play in relation to the men around them – daughters, sisters, wives.
“I’m here to play the game, a point to score, a virgin a whore, fill me up, fill me in.”
‘Russian doll’ is next and appears to be about the general state of politics and the wealth disparity. I agree with the opening line that at this point, throw us all in the bin. The last two songs of the album are ‘Five minutes’ and the album namesake ‘Cute aggression.’ ‘Five minutes’ changes the tone and style drastically interloping between slow and steady and heavy with the simple request to have five minutes with someone that is missed.
“You’re so cute I want to punch something!”
This entire final song reminds me of my housemate who is a piercer goth-queen with a bedroom filled with squish mellows – the juxtaposition of the ‘cute’ with badassery is what we all need in our lives.
‘Cute Aggression’ came out 15th April 2022. The 12-track record has been released on TNS Records and is available on vinyl, CD and all streaming platforms. It’s punchy, it’s fun, and you all need to listen to it immediately.