Published Jun 01, 2006Its probably not too great of an exaggeration to say that Cougars are one of the most exciting and unique post-hardcore bands currently making music today. Their debut full-length, Nice, Nice, defied genre classification with its brutal mixture of Fugazi-style aggression, blaring horn section, and sublime sense of humour, while Manhandler, their follow-up EP, carried the torch of their past work while upping the sonic grit to even greater proportion. With Pillow Talk, the band further explode into severely demented musical territory, offering up the plodding sludge of "Toxic Fox Syndrome alongside the sped-up punk of "Diagnosis: Snare Side Hearing Loss. Unlike some groups whose many members seem to do nothing more than bang trash cans or play the odd accordion, the eight gentlemen who compose the aural monstrosity that is Cougars are all vital to each of these ten tracks, making for an unbelievably dense sound that pulls back at just the right times, creating some impressive dynamic interplay on songs like "Shitstorm. Vocalist Matthew Irie seems dead-set on tearing apart his trachea as the rest of the band rip through songs like a fat kid through the wrapper of a chocolate bar, and the result is nothing short of mind-blowing.
Eight dudes in a van! Whats it like touring with Cougars? Bassist Bryan Bienias: Imagine your local dive bar rolling down the expressway at 80 mph, but without the sweet smelling urinal cakes. So yeah, its awesome. The van is decently spacious, so its not as bad as it might sound. Sometimes a couple of us will skitch behind the van on rollerblades and do choreographed tricks like the Go-Gos, so that alleviates some of the crampiness.
Why does everyone lazily compare you to Rocket From the Crypt? Who do you actually think your musical peers are? Two words: horns. Really, nobody in the band really cares all that much. Reviewers and listeners need to find reference points to help describe what theyre hearing. Are there better references out there? Probably, but thats their job to find them. So, fuck em. As far as our musical peers, thats really tough to say. Pretty much all of the influences are older, defunct bands or bands so far removed from our level that calling them "peers would just be dishonest. Weve sent several letters to Manowar, asking if theyd wanted to be musical peers with us, but theyve never responded. Thats not saying that we dont like anything current or that were such pariahs or anything. We just have no friends.
Do Cougars get many cougars after them? Cougars? No. Bears, though. Far too many bears. (Go-Kart)