Singapore Guide | Music – Monster Cat
Born out of frustration, MONSTER CAT is a reaction to a culture of shackling life templates and suffocating social expectations.
An avalanche of questions, doubts and personal fears was the breeding ground for Singaporean band MONSTER CAT’s first release, Mannequins. From the dramatic intent of The Smashing Pumpkins to Fever Ray’s visceral force of myth and music, the five-piece tries its best to imitate these artists but fails spectacularly. Creating instead, a sound that is all their own.
With its own brand of mangled folk-rock that drifts from haunting and gentle (‘Underwater’) to driving and cathartic (‘These Hands’), MONSTER CAT takes great pains to craft songs that reveal more with each listen. Title track ‘Mannequins’ best sums up the band’s musical style: textured, intense and evocative.
MONSTER CAT takes its name from the ‘bakeneko’, a cat with supernatural abilities in Japanese folklore. It is said a bakeneko will haunt any household it is in, menacing sleepers, walking on its hind legs, even devouring its owner and shapeshifting to take his place. Yet, there are also stories that depict the bakeneko as a fiercely protective and loyal creature, readily sacrificing its life for its owner.
The band is inspired by this sense of the supernatural, the fascinating ambiguity of the relationship between creature and owner, stricken with a nature that is gentle yet volatile. The shorter explanation would be that the band loves cats. Really fat ones. They also get turned on by very dead philosophers and things that have the potential to get wet. Like fabric, palms and reverb.
MONSTER CAT believes they have something to say. And they want you to listen.
Why we love MONSTER CAT: The band’s unique sound (think Local Natives meets Elliot Smith!) and easy-listening afternoon tracks makes them a gem in the local music scene. And oh, they love our furry friends.. Cats!
Images courtesy of Callum Aldrin Smith
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