Reviewed by Raoul Hernandez, Fri., June 23, 2006
Cicada (Australian Cattle God)
There's way too much yang in the world presently. More yin. In the nick of time comes Austin's Cat Scientist, whose Rae Craig and Brant Bingamon voice the centrifugal balance down to the decimal point. Tom Tom Club's Tina Weymouth and Chris Franz got there first, Imperial Teen blew it up post-Cobain, and now the Scissor Sisters lead the field. None of those acts number among their lab coats guitar Ph.D. Bill Anderson (Poison 13, Meat Purveyors), whose adaptability stamps the title track's motoring riff, robotic sear of "Fear the Stranger," and Iron Giant footfall of "Rocks and Trees." All five band members contribute keyboards and vox to Cicada's incessant beat, Julien Peterson's bass powering the New Wave disco pulse with drummer Cisco Ryder. This metronomic grounding cocoons Craig and Bingamon's sushi chef wordplay perfectly ("Precipice"), though again, the entire band harmonizes and are more effectively fun than the Polyphonic Spree. Opener "I Saved an Airplane" sets the stage with the electro-purr of Cat Scientist's theme song, sock-hop singing about cat sorcery and air safety. Insects, dancing, and sex meets the the Molotov-lite of "Brian Cincinnati," biosphere instrumental "Drone in G Major," micro-beatbox "Elf," and watery bounce/bombast of closer "Church Bus." Good kitty.