• cats on fire Our Temperance Movement (CD, £4.70)

    label: How Does It Feel to Be Loved

    Jangling indiepop tussling with rip-roaring rock’n’roll, ornate REM-esque melodies squaring up to exuberant dancefloor smashes. “COF hit a high mark few other earnest young men can get near.” - Q. Imagine growing up in Finland anything other than a hard rock fan. From the glammed up rock of Hanoi Rocks to the globe-conquering metal of HIM and The Rasmus, Finland’s contribution to music has tended to be loud, brash and rocking. It’s safe to say that Cats On Fire singer Mattias Bjorkas isn’t a heavy metal fan. Just look at him: with cheekbones you could hang a Rembrandt on and a perfect, almost arrogantly-styled quiff, this cravat-wearing hybrid of the young David Bowie and James Dean seems a world apart from scuffed denim and greasy hair. And his band’s music inhabits a different universe as well. The foursome released their debut album, “The Province Complains”, in 2007, to widespread acclaim. “Brilliant,” declared NME. “'I Am The White-Mantled King' is Robert Smith if he'd traded Edgar Allan Poe for Brideshead Revisited, while 'Astray' is Adam Ant running at midnight on dexedrine with Dexy's, and that's just the first two tracks. An indie-pop hallelujah,” Q and Word magazine were equally enthusiastic. “Our Temperance Movement” is the band’s first domestic release in the UK. Kicking off with the infectious, hand-clapping, energy rush of the single “Tears In Your Cup”, the album showcases Mattias’ singular style and worldview – he’s sardonic, poetic, funny, political, eccentric, and a true star in the old-fashioned sense, a flamboyant misfit to rank alongside Edwyn Collins and John Lydon. “Cats On Fire hit a high mark few other earnest young men can get near.” - Q.

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