11 Songs | MR025 | Release Date 2007
"There are, believe it or not, Little Rock bands not named Evanescence that make great rock music. The Big Cats have a particularly clean and articulate approach.
In case “clean” and “articulate” sound like insults to you, substitute words like “tighter,” as well as “more melodious” and “less sludgy” or “not gothic” and you might get the picture. It’s pop. Maybe if you ever heard Big Star or The dB’s or even The Replacements, or the more obscure yet joyous Shoes, you can get a sense of how good these Big Cats sound.
One really admires an enterprising young businessman / musician like Burt Taggart, who I envision cajoling his Big Cats cohorts to drop by town every now and then for a recording session. Drummer Colin Brooks is part of Grammy winner Dan Zanes’ band. Guitarist Jason White is the fourth member of Green Day. Luckily for all concerned, Taggart operates his own label, Max Recordings, and he must know what he’s doing, since the sound quality here is unsurpassed, thanks to Barry Poynter’s studio, Poynter’s Palace.
I just can’t get enough of the band’s song, “Man of Leisure,” although “Country Lanes” certainly is evocative and a winner in its own right. I can’t find any weak sisters in this 11-song collection.
For a group of guys who only get together a time or two each year, due to coast-to-coast careers for some of them, these four seem to have an instinctual feel for the vibe they’re seeking, and the music is intelligent enough that the more you hear it, the more you appreciate it. This is the kind of stuff you can go around singing to yourself, you know, when no one is looking.
The Big Cats deserve discovery by a wider audience. But would it ruin them? Or would they prefer to be a great act instead of a famous act? Stay tuned.
- Jack Hill / Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
"The follow-up to Worrisome Blues has the Big Cats dedicating the record to Shannon Yarbrough, and he would be quite proud of this release."
- Pop Matters
"This kind of low-key, earnest jangle pop is timeless."
- Stewart Mason / All Music Guide