Known Associates: Penny Love (Warcat)

 |   |  1 min read

Known Associates: Made of Blue
Known Associates: Penny Love (Warcat)

Auckland singer/writer/guitarist Warren Cate of Known Associates has made some fine and deliberately unpolished rock albums under his own name in the past but here, with a team of equals who hunkered down for weekly sessions last year to toughen themselves up and work out material, he excels himself.

Cate always possessed a slightly dangerous edge in his vocals but here he sounds angry and desperate and is singing like his life depended on it (Mercy with its "eye for an eye" sentiment, Wishbone City). With guitarist Grant Wills adding electrifying, tight and powerhouse solos and an adrenalin-fueled rhythm section (Mike Franklin-Browne on drums, longtime bassist Andrew Buckton back again), this one flies out of the speakers like the missing link between the best material off the Stones' It's Only Rock'n'Roll (What It's All About) and the pub rock energy of Dr Feelgood's Stupidity (Made of Blue).

They barely pause for a breath -- there's a real slew into Seventies rock on Tell Me It's Alright -- and it isn't until five songs in (the dreamy Show Me where Cate still keeps that sneering edge) that the pace slows.

Almost out of earshot on Waning Moon you can catch a whiff of Hendrix's Spanish Castle Magic, Dark Sword throbs with metal menace (a little bit cliched but convincingly impassioned) and Hand of God finds them at their most evocative, Doors-like and trippy.

Not much here breaks the 3.45 minute mark so nothing outstays its welcome and you don't doubt this band live would be a hazard to sensitive souls . . . and Cate's restrained fury would put on notice those half his age.

Warren Cate answered the Famous Elsewhere Questionnaire here.

Share It

Your Comments

Simon Hema - Jun 15, 2011

Heard some of this album in a cafe in Glendowie. Thought "Mercy" had a Stevie Ray vibe. Will look out for it

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

SubAudible Hum: In Time For Spring, On Came The Snow (Inertia)

SubAudible Hum: In Time For Spring, On Came The Snow (Inertia)

The Melbourne-based outfit open this, their second album, with a pulsating electronic track which is increasingly dense and chant-like, and sounds like U2's guitarman the Edge has also been roped... > Read more

Kurt Vile: Smoke Ring For My Halo (Matador)

Kurt Vile: Smoke Ring For My Halo (Matador)

The captivatingly named rock troubadour Vile from Philadelphia offers a kind of alt.folk-cum-indie rock skew which refers to Cohen as much as Cobain. But he also has an ear for a mainstream... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

NIXON IN CHINA REVISITED (2105): History as theatre

NIXON IN CHINA REVISITED (2105): History as theatre

Although it is his autobiography and he's allowed to exclude whomever and whatever he wants, it did seem odd that Philip Glass would not have mentioned John Adams' opera Nixon in China in his... > Read more

Hawkwind: Spaced out in the suburbs

Hawkwind: Spaced out in the suburbs

Aside from meeting some interesting (and ocassionally odd) people, interviewing musicians gets you into some different places. In another life I doubt I would have ever been backstage at the... > Read more