Beast – Pussycat and the Dirty Johnsons (reviewed by T. Bebedor)

As a reviewer, most of the music that gets put beneath my snout is either folk, blues or country and Americana so being given the chance to review a three-piece punk band from Basingstoke came as something like a bowl of cold water over my head.

I’m partial to a bit of grit in my music, punk was never music to be reviewed on it’s musical merits, it gets by on energy and emotion rather than storytelling and clever chord changes, and the place to hear and experience punk is live, but of course that is impossible for the time being so grabbing a cd of bands you may not have heard of seems the obvious second best and you won’t be disappointed.

The music is a striking hybrid of surfer-punk and Ramones-style short blasts of energetic songs that will either float your boat or leave you on the shore. It’s a polarised genre but considering the limited boundaries, it’s alive and well and there is something engaging about roughness of the music.

It’s unapologetic, raw, furious and, if I’m honest, a refreshing break from songs about lost loves and forest dawns.

I would have loved to have heard a bass in there somewhere, the band is made up of singer/guitarist, guitarist/backing vocals and drums/backing vocals which gives lots of top end to counter the drums but adding a pounding bass to bring up the mid would have added balance to the mix, but saying that, it can come across like an angry White Stripes, which is no bad thing.

I’ve had this album knocking around in the car for a while and it often gets a trip into the cd player, so it obviously has enough going on to deserve repeat listens. Bottom line is, if you like punk and miss going to gigs, broaden your cd collection, give this a listen and find out for yourself.

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