Hearing Aide: Haunted Cat ‘Haunted Cat’

Haunted Cat released their self-titled thirteen-track album earlier this year. The album was a solo project developed by Drew Benton. Benton has played with bands like Complicated Shirt and ToUGH in New York’s Capital Region for fifteen years, and is now working on his own material. The band that stemmed from the advent of this project includes Jason Jette from Complicated Shirt, Moon Worship, and Brevator, Brook Degener from Brent Gorton’s band and Better Pills, and Kevin Flansburg from John Rifle. The record was mastered by Jason Loewenstein.

This album kicks off with an 18 second Phantom of the Opera-like organ passage in “Carfull of Nightmares.” The introduction quickly transitions into “Sing a Rainbow.” This has a childlike quality to it with the sound of a crib mobile/music box type of sound under the vocals. This sounds just like a ’90s indie track with the simplistic, youthful writing. “I Played a Bored Whore” provides quite the contrast; it sounds like a song straight out of the ’80s with the synthesizer and technological string sounds. The message of the song is a bit unclear, but it’s got a great punchy bass line.

“Angry is Ugly” sounds just like a Bon Iver song with the vocal distortion technique used. There’s some backward masking in “Spyglass Time Capsule.” It remains to be determined if there is a hidden message within the lyrics. The most unique track is “Funeral for a Bird” which is a classical piano composition. It features no other instruments. The closing song is “Reaper Calls Collect.” This is clever in that the ringing continues throughout the whole song relentlessly; you wouldn’t want to pick up a call from the Grim Reaper if you had the choice!

The album features unique timbres throughout, raw vocals and interesting harmonies. The collection of songs features something for a wide variety of tastes. The album showcases Benton’s diverse musical talents in both his writing and performance.

The band is hosting a release party on May 4 at The Low Beat in Albany, NY at 9 pm. Catch Hill Haints at the show as well.

Key Tracks: Funeral for a Bird, Styrofoam Bird, Posture Lessons