Politically and to a slightly lesser extent, sonically, Cat On Form are England’s answer to Fugazi, though lyrically they lack Ian MacKaye’s and Guy Picciotto’s nuances and clever wordplay. An example of their sophomoric lyrics from “Broke a Nail”: “They teach us fucked up shit/like how to move and tick/and there’s no warning signs/for old respected minds/school’s a fucking joke/of sick structure and fear”.
Throughout the album, they rage against capitalism, conformity, war, the military and the death of creativity. Unfortunately their sound is formulaic: angular guitars based on Wire, loose production, and soft-loud dynamics. The album’s anomaly, “Blood Drained”, is its best moment when they abandon their mid-’90’s D.C.-influenced sound and find a more melodic one with drummer Eva Kelly on lead vocals. Her lilting, ethereal voice is accompanied by hushed guitars and light drums on the somber ballad. It’s a direction worth considering for the future.