Run With The Kittens Bangers and Mash

Bangers and mash is England’s equivalent to meat and potatoes, and here the course is 11 tracks and one interlude encompassing 30 minutes. The Kittens play tight collages of poppy fillings. It’s innocuous enough at first, delivering rockabilly and surf until third track "Take Me Home” runs light-speed into a James Brown breakdown. Next, taking the amps down to six, "Year of the Hour” could be as catchy as "The Sweater Song” in context, nearly (accidentally?) doing with Erykah Badu on wax what Weezer did live with Wu Tang. This seamlessly slips into an excruciating manifesto. "Fork and Knife” delves into the working class world of vitriol and vice. Later, the band uses reversed tape, Theremin and industrial beats for "End is the Message” and "Microwave.” After one half-hilarious, half-hollowed-out self-titled debut and one marked departure, RWTK, with Terry Brown (Rush), finally record their live sound for audiophiles. The next album’s the payoff, or maybe the bacon? (Independent)