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Maow – The Unforgiving Sounds Of…

On a recent foray to Toronto to see the Immaculate Machine live in concert (WAHOOOO!), I was also fortunate enough to spend an hour in Sonic Boom on Bloor. Several of the following reviews on this page will be about discs I scored during my digging in their endless bins of awesomeness.

NB: James… when you are in ON in June, we MUST go there. Immediately.

As you all probably know by now, I love Mint Records. Their discography is loaded with records that are chock full of complete awesomeness. Some people just have taste, and Mint has always been it, baby. As a savvy KMA Reader, you knew this already, of course.

So, I found this copy of Maow, now 12 years old (!), and rescued it, giving it a good home at my house. I loved this disc from start to finish. It swings. It rocks. It’s fun and light and completely tight. It sounds like the grandchild of Chuck Berry and every pop band the 60’s could muster, but updated, with amazing vocals and great, great music. It’s punk, rockabilly and swing all rolled into one. Sweet!

The best words to describe this experience, though, are Short Sharp Shock.

This is a REALLY short disc, with 16 songs in just over 20 minutes. The shortest track here is 0:44, with the longest being 2:01. These are sketches, more than they are songs. But then again, if you remember the punk aesthetic, these are absolutely perfect little tracks of focused, amazing music that will completely make you wanna shake yer ass.

For some reason, I totally get an image in my mind of how brilliant this band would have been to see live in a venue like Amigo’s Cantina in Saskatoon. While this record played, I imagined that that would have been the perfectly-sized venue in which to catch this brilliant, succinct band. If you’ve been there, and have also heard this record, I would like to believe that you can understand.

I’ll admit that I bought this disc (on first finding it) because anything with Neko Case’s name on it simply has to come home to my house, no questions asked. I love her music. Her voice sends chills up my spine. But here she plays drums too… and with great aplomb, may I add! Cool! Tobey and C.C. and the rest of the crew totally hold their own, too, for sure. What an amazing record. What a great band. Such fun!

The title of the record claims that these are the “Unforgiving Sounds of Maow,” and I’m quite comfortable with their sounds, thank you very much, whether they’re forgiving or not. In fact, to me it felt just like coming home. This is a disc I will play again and again, for years. Many of these songs will fit perfectly into mixes on my MP3 player, Weed King, and the entire album just Works in its entirety. There are too many favourites here to pick just one, but haha, I loved the one about Clapton, for example. And One Nite Stand was perfect. Not that I’ve ever been in that boat, thankfully, but it’s still a perfect snapshot of a song.

I only wish I’d been in the loop enough to have heard this years ago, since it was released in 1996. I feel like I’ve been wasting so much time.

Oh baby. Maow kicks so much ass.

Track Listing:
01 Wank
02 Mean Mean Mean
03 Sucker
04 Ms. Lefevre
05 Rock N’ Roll Boy
06 Very Missionary
07 Mommie’s Drunk
08 Woman’s Scorn
09 Showpie
10 J’ai Faim
11 Man What’s Got A Gun
12 How Does That Grab You
13 Party Tonite!
14 Cat’s Meow
15 One Nite Stand
16 Catastrophe

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