steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Cat & Dog Dialogue / Red Pony Clock

Split CD

Gabe and Lizeth Records and Crafts

Genre: indie pop, twee

April 2006

It was about time a couple of bands brought some fun into my life as a reviewer. No, that doesn't mean this is so bad I'm gonna totally tear the shit out of it - rather, this is a truly fun record... fun, fun-loving, funny, simply funtastic. Ew. The split starts off with tag-team superduo Nina Canell and Robin Watkins as Cat & Dog Dialogue, a lo-fi act with a penchant for punchy, melodic compositions using organs, drums, vocals, and more. The whole thing has a kind of carnival-like atmosphere, something that takes adjusting to but stands up well upon repeated listens. The most traditional pop songs are some of the strongest points - "Roborovski" is a dazzingly infectious romp, and "All I Said" is great - though they also throw in some more experimental instrumental stuff, which helps add variety without detracting from their side's quality. The burst of energy that is "Super Turbo Sunbed" is a fine example. Every song is short, too (not one over three minutes), so nothing wears out its welcome over this thirteen-track blast.

Red Pony Clock, who I've heard from a number of times before, comes out strong with their brand of dense, luscious twee pop. Their melodic sense has always been somewhat warped, but that's all for the best on this nine song sample. "Mrs. Butter" and "We're Only Lying to Ourselves" sound like Of Montreal outtakes, from the vocals to the ridiculous assemblage of accompanying instruments (particularly the clarinet). Indeed the Of Montreal reference is apt for nearly all of these nine tracks, though RPC does have a certain melodic bizarreness that sets them apart from the rest - and their songs tend to be slower and don deeper vocals.

This is a fun, playful record that deserves the attention of any lo-fi twee pop lover. It might be hard to get your paws it on now that the Gabe and Lizeth label has shut down and C+D Dialogue appears to have disappeared, but a bit of hunting might be worth it if this sounds like it'd be up your alley. And props to the silk-screened cover, yo.

MP3 (from Red Pony Clock - Wasting Away


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 22 tracks, released 2005]