Kitten Forever: Magical Realism

Earlier this month, local grrls Kitten Forever unleashed their follow-up EP to last year's Born Ready, which this rag dubbed one of the best albums of 2008. And so, with Magical Realism's speedy bass lines and seizure-driven bass drum attacks, their rebellious caterwauling continues. The trio is plucked from the incestuous web of local indie rock, with Laura Larson of Baby Guts on bass and Unicorn Basement's Max Clark releasing the seven-inch on his Unnecessary Friction label. But Liz Elton's fuse-blowing vocals could rocket the group out of our friendly bubble, should she and her punk conspirators wish. Magical Realism is the proof. The guitarless trio jet through their love vs. hate rampages before listeners can come up for air, let alone prepare their claws for an evening of ex-boyfriend scratching. Throughout the five-song EP, Elton showcases her strange prowess, singing like a pretty princess throwing a bitch fit in the middle of multiple orgasms—screeching and braying, howling and screaming. In "Deathbed" she begins in a girlish voice, reciting a curt breakup letter, then hurls herself into a foul-mouthed rant, exploding with drummer Corrie Harrigan's rabid cymbal crashing. On "Voodoo," the EP's only foray into pop, the ladies indulge in cheery call-and-response, sounding like warped cheerleaders celebrating the first touchdown, repeating happy, no-fuss lyrics easy for listeners to sing to while engaged in full flail. But perhaps the biggest shiner on Magical Realism is "Mind Meld." The song is destined to be a show closer, with its loud but tenuous composition providing only the essential tread to carry Elton's bellows. "Mind meeeeeellllld!" Kitten Forever, consider the psychic takeover complete.

 
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