CATS IN SPACE – Kickstart The Sun [Limited Edition 2-Disc set] (2022) *HQ* Exclusive
CATS IN SPACE released past summer their fifth studio album ”Kickstart The Sun”, another stupendous collection of song from this talented band. The album, which took nine solid months to complete, and was partly recorded at the legendary RAK Studios in London, has once more raised the bar that was already set super high by their previous chart hitting albums.
The familiar team of producer/guitarist and principal songwriter Greg Hart and engineer Ian Caple sees the new album featuring some very special guests who help to confirm that the band are pushing their musical boundaries to the absolute maximum on this epic journey with no less than fifteen brand new songs.
CATS IN SPACE also made available this ”Kickstart The Sun’ Expanded Double Disc Version” – limited to 2,000 copies only – featuring 10 exclusive bonus tracks to this Limited / bonus CD only.
A collectible, already Sold Out – a 0dayrox exclusive feature.
After decades spent hustling in the melodic rock trenches, it might be unkind to refer to Cats In Space mainman Greg Hart as a journeyman musician, but his CV does rather bear this out. It’s 30 years since he co-wrote ‘Lay Down Your Arms and A Far Cry’ on Asia’s ‘Aqua’ album, and the intervening years have been dotted with occasional albeit insubstantial flurries of activity.
So when he launched Cats In Space in 2015 it felt like a Hail Mary. A final throw of the dice in AOR’s last-chance saloon.
In the seven years since, Hart has worked with all the steely determination of a man who’s finally figured out where he’s headed and how he’s going to get there, and desperately wants to make up for lost time.
Cats In Space have released six studio albums (including a Christmas collection), a live album and a best-of collection. Which isn’t bad for a band who’ve never troubled the Top 75. They’re also on their third singer.
It’s the CV of a band staring down the retirement end of a 30-year career, and yet it feels, somehow, as if Cats In Space are really just getting started.
Album number six, ”Kickstart The Sun” finds them ready to “turn the lights on” after “the last two unprecedented years of darkness”. These are clearly laudable aims, and my, what brightness they bring.
Slicker than a freshly oiled salamander, it’s an album that often sounds like a jukebox musical in search of a theatre, but it’s all presented with such clear affection for the music of yore that it feels churlish to suggest the band might be better off writing for the stage.
There are hints of Queen, Toto, Foreigner and ELO – the end of ‘Last Dance Saloon’ has more than a whiff of latter’s Turn To Stone about it – and it’s all performed with a nod and a wink and an enthusiasm that borders on glee. It’s also something of an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink production, from the fanfare horns that parp regally in ‘King Of Stars’ to the climax of the title track, which sounds as if every singer in the galaxy has crowded into the studio.
It’s a master class in melodic songwriting, with harmonies ladled on top of harmonies and the simplest of piano flourishes powering ‘Poke The Witch’ and ‘Smoke And Mirrors’ to jubilant heights. This is an album that glistens.
With drummer Steevi Bacon and vocalsit Damien Edwards contributing more to the writing, CATS seem to have discovered another level in terms of artistry. Sky-scraping vocals, drum solos, guitar battles, an army of keyboards and even orchestral sections all add up to ensure that the listener is taken on a triumphant journey that they will never want to end.
And there’s more! The songs on the bonus disc must listen, from the very different version of ‘Charlie’s Ego [‘Turbo’ version]’ amd the rocking mix of ‘King of Stars [Rock Edit]’, to the ‘Live into the Studio’ takes of ‘Fell Out Of Love With Rock and Roll [Live at RAK]’ and ‘1,000,000 Miles [Live at RAK]’
Cats In Space are, for my money, one of the best bands to emerge since the turn of the millennium.
With ”Kickstart The Sun”, which once again comes wrapped in a simply stunning sleeve, courtesy of the ever-impressive Andy Kitson, Cats In Space have outdone themselves.
You’ve seen it first at 0dayrox
Kickstart The Sun:
01 – Kickstart The Sun – Intro
02 – King Of Stars
03 – Poke The Witch
04 – Teenage Millionaires
05 – Goodbye To The American Dream
06 – 1,000,000 Miles
07 – Fifty-One Pillow Bed
08 – Charlie’s Ego
09 – Kickstart The Sun
10 – A Big Balloon
11 – Smoke & Mirrors
12 – Hero
13 – Last Dance Saloon
14 – Bootleg Bandoleros
15 – Kickstart The Sun – Reprise
01 – Charlie’s Ego [‘Turbo’ version]
02 – 1,000,000 Miles [Duet ft. Julie ‘The Duchess” Maguire]
03 – King of Stars [Rock Edit]
04 – Goodbye to the American Dream [Extended]
05 – Atlantis [Live at RAK]
06 – Fell Out Of Love With Rock and Roll [Live at RAK]
07 – 1,000,000 Miles [Live at RAK]
08 – Bootleg Bandoleros [Instrumental]
09 – Last Dance Saloon [Instrumental]
10 – King of Stars [Instrumental]
Damien Edwards – Lead & backing vocals
Greg Hart – Guitars, vocals, tubular bells, Moog
Steevi Bacon – Drums, percussion, timpani, harmonica
Abdy Stewart – Piano, electric piano, synthesizers
Dean Howard – Guitars, slide guitar
Jeff Brown – Bass guitars, vocals