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The Hourglass Cats

Countdown To 432

The Hourglass Cats.
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The Hourglass Cats. Photos by Ben Garcia.
Also Known As THC, Local Band Puts Forth First Extended-Play Recording Of Their Most Popular Live-Performance Songs Along With A Few Surprises

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By Jeff Moses
Modern Times Magazine

May 14, 2013 — The first extended play recorded by Tempe’s own The Hourglass Cats, entitled 432,  is being released on May 17 and it is by far the most mature piece of music the punky desert reggae outfit has produced in their two-plus years together.

At a recent THC photo shoot, the band arrived dressed to the nines, with a handsome blonde in a tux — here’s looking at you Chaz Fertal — but what the photo shoot really represented by way of the dressy clothes and swanky venue was that THC is coming into their own and 432 is a classy piece of music.

The five-song EP, recorded at Underdog Studios in Mesa by James Lamparter who does the recording for The Veragoove, features studio versions of all of the staples heard at THC live-performances. The result is a set of songs played to perfection and mixed together to become one of the most fun listens of the summer.

Not only are the THC regulars Cori Rios, “Hot” Karl Maier, Julia Damerow, Bryan Holland, and Fertal playing at their best, but the newest Hourglass Cat Lisa Lizanek seamlessly brought trombone into the fold and Veragroove keyboard player Sean Lee added that little extra oomph that THC was looking for.

“Sean was just so great with songs like sense where just do little guitar strokes and he just fills in all that space,” said Rios.

The first track on the album “Keep Steppin,” has never sounded better with Lee adding a little more reggae flair to the always-funky THC style. The second track “Havoc” truly benefits from the more full horn section, which really compliments the harder guitar riffs.

Track three, “Sense,” is one that is special for Rios because, “Sense is one of the first songs I ever wrote, and it was supposed to be a love song but it was never a love song it was a love song about weed,” he said.

Track four is another song with a harder edge, “Punching Puppies and Kicking Kittens.” A guitar sounding a bit harder than in live shows really stands out and the New York attitudes of Fertal and bass player Bryan Holland shine. The whole song has an attitude that smells of The Strokes with none of the nasty after-bouquet.

Track five “Yoga Butt,” is just a fun song about girls with fit butts. Does anything else need to be said? Oh, yea, one more thing ... it also has the EP’s only featured artist Cheeks Marx.

The EP also has a hidden bonus track, but that is one you have to hear for yourself.

As it goes with most any quality piece of recorded music assembled by an up-and-coming band, there will also be a party of epic proportions to accompany it. In this case, said party will take place at Tempe’s Sail Inn, 26 S. Farmer Ave.

Obviously the night’s headliner is The Hourglass Cats, but they will also be joined by L.A. ska reggae band Product, as well as Palms, Valley Love, Japhy’s Descent, Solrise, Ruca, and The Sara McAllister Duo.

“For this show we are playing a lot of songs we haven’t played in over a year like “Dirty Tricks,” “Coming Up,” and “Outatowner,”” said Rios, but those aren’t the only surprises in store at the Sail Inn. There will also be body painting, live art by album artist Josh Kirby, and fire spinning by Valley Love’s Jason Sessler and Paul Rupple.

There will also be more than $500 worth of raffle prizes with all of the proceeds profiting local non-profit music organization Ear Candy.

With a more mature sound has also come a more mature outlook for the desert reggae dynamos with Rios saying the next year will be dedicated to more recording, less, but more quality shows, and a chance to branch out musically into side projects.

Tickets for the EP release party are $8 Presale and $10 at the door, and can be purchased by contacting The Hourglass Cats on their Facebook page. All paid tickets come with a free EP download.

Jeff Moses is Music/Arts editor at Modern Times Magazine. He can be reached at jmoses@moderntimesmagazine.com.
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