It was just a couple of months ago that I reviewed this young punk band’s 2012 EP What We Came For and they have since released a very different sounding demo record. The Black Cat Demos really shows what Nine Volt Heart, a band of Yorkshire teenagers, can do and it’s certainly an EP to be proud of.
Their previous EP was full of harsh, angsty punk and although they haven’t fully stepped away from it here, they have included a more mature flavour. The Black Cat Demos shows a more diverse, older Nine Volt Heart which is a joy to listen to and demonstrates how far they’ve come in a year.
Beginning with a traditional punk metal song KissKissKiss, they get off to an energetic start. Crashing drums and electronic whizzes introduce the loud metallic guitars and punk vocals. A sci-fi theme is really prominent with eerie robotic backing vocals on the chorus and a very weird section where the melody mimics an Eastern snake charming tune. All in all, it’s another thrashing moshpit anthem but with some real creative thought behind it.
The first time we hear the band calm down is on Phantoms and Failing Engines. A simple guitar strumming along joins the exposed melodic vocals. Of course, it wouldn’t be their style not to include any mayhem at all and naturally the fuzzy riffs come in on the chorus but die again for the next verse. It continues in this alternating fashion for most of the song making it a very intriguing track with huge live potential.
Ending with another slowed down number, Very Much Alive, the band are putting us down gently. It’s a sad track led by quirky unpolished vocals while the guitar howls in the background. Naturally after two minutes or so, drums kick in and a pop-punk vibe enters the vocals. Eerie spacey backing vocals make a return towards the end which takes on an atmospheric alternative form, guitars slowly rippling away.
I love that they have moved away from loud and brash punk metal. Of course, that is their true niche but bands who have the ability to go down a different avenue and still sound great are the ones that tend to last in the business. The Black Cat Demos proves that they’re not just a group of outspoken, angry teens and that they can calm down and let their unique tones speak for themselves.