‘Seasick Circus’ by CatzMelvin brings the big top show.

The idiom “march to the beat of one’s own drum” came to mind when listening to CatsMelvin new LP, Seasick Circus. This thought was further cemented when going through their social media. Catsmelvin is living life to the fullest in Lincoln, Nebraska. They are supporters of equality, sustainability and the arts. They play with an old school early 80’s DIY punk vibe. Upon my first listen, a couple of things stood out. Let’s dive in.

On two tracks, they do a “second half flip”, flipping the end to something different.  We don’t see that as much these days, but ‘Pharmaceuticals’ is a great example. Punchy in the beginning and flowing like a gentle stream into the ocean at the end. Their differences only strengthen their positions like a ying yang symbol. The volume swells at the end feel like the music is using its diaphragm muscles.

Throughout the LP, I can’t help but pick up a bit of early 80’s Dead Kennedys. While ‘Down and Out’ and ‘Ripple Effect’ have a punk rock flavor. Their use of mirrored vocals and singular horn melodies behind rocking guitars, embody the spirit of that era. Pairing these up-tempo singles together provides a nice two punch combo. I love where they are located on the album.

Setting the tone for the album is its namesake song ‘Seasick Circus”. Here, CatsMelvin shows us exactly who they are. For the listener, also a clue to what’s to come. Their sound is witty, flamboyant and genuine like if Marlyn Manson moved to rural America. Interludes and an experimental approach ensure a refreshing listening experience, but the punk rock vibe brings the party. I’m in.

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