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Alpha Cat: Press

YOUNG, SINGLE AND ANGRY
Matt Forger handed me this soundtrack album at a NARIP event, so I knew it was going to sound great. Primarily produced by multi-instrumentalist and composer Jon Mattox, with mixing from Forger, this is a collection of 15 songs of love, angst, and/or loss. Of the bands on the recording, I had previously only heard of the Young Dubliners and Alpha Cat (Elizabeth McCullough) but everybody shines in their delivery of the various moods and grooves relating to the ups and downs of getting together and breaking apart. Cruise on over to www.brightorangerecords.com if you want to learn more about Alpha Cat’s “perfect dark pop,” Sterling Witt’s “slacker rock with a twist,” and a whole lot more.

Pearl Harbor Reviews

The past catches up to the future on "Pearl Harbor" by Alpha Cat. Part modern folk-rock, part fusion-psychedelic art-rock, this band is a delight.

There's a torrent of prose in every one of Elizabeth McCullough's songs, yet each syllable seems to fit magically in place as the tunes slowly burn their way into your brain. The melodies are likely to drive you batty the next day as you remember half of them, which compels you to play the cd again. (You can see a rare West Coast gig Nov. 11 at the Cat Club)
the G-Man - NoHo LA (Nov 13, 2003)
In the vein of the old New York City stuff like Patti Smith, Velvet Underground, Television � comes Alpha Cat, with an approach to music that shows more depth of thought than many of the teenage hucksters out there right now. At the forefront are the vocals of Elizabeth McCullough, lazy and cutting like Patti Smith's, at times ethereal along the lines of Joni Mitchell or a quiet Chrissy Hynde, but always attracting your attention. Like a poetry reading, she weaves her voice, alternating between a matter-of-fact speaking tone and low-key approach to singing, and one could easily imagine her sitting at a table, smoking a cigarette, and delivering the goods. The goods, of course, being 13 songs that reel and roll, featuring quite a few guests on various instruments, and the sonic variety is just another in a series of good reasons to grab this disc and give it a listen. Lyrically, the songs are rich, as the various stories unfold and play out.
Hard to make out if this is a band or a collective of like minded musicians as about fifteen participants are listed and in alphabetical order making it hard to distinguish who's more involved than the rest. One thing for sure - this is not Americana or country in the least. This is sprightly new wave pop circa the late '80's and is bouncy and clever as hell. While this might confuse more country-oriented consumers those interested in quirky pop are recommended to give this a listen. Those interested in fiddles and pedal steel are invited to look elsewhere. Pretty good album though, with some great lyrical twists and very compelling music.
New York, the land from whence all good things non-British seem to emanate these days, now brings us Alpha Cat, a mixed outfit with a disarmingly wide repertoire of styles. Of the songs presented here, my favorite by far is the bouncy, brassy power pop of �Once Upon a Time. The horn charts could be a touch more flashy or experimental, but that�s a minor quibble with this energetic track, which further benefits from its Liam-Gallagher-without-the-sneer vocal delivery. I find the lyrics a little inscrutable in fellow offerings Pearl Harbor� and Straw Hat, but the latter�s line elongations lends some welcome poetry to their accessible pop-rock structures. Alpha Cat is definitely a band of many flavors, guaranteed to keep the listener guessing -- and to keep enjoying him/herself in the process.
ALPHA CAT - PEARL HARBOR
A release full of interesting arrangements and melodies is what we have here. the main thing here is the combination of guitars with Elizabeth McCullough vocals. This woman has a really distinctive voice with a lot of middle ranges that gives a deep feeling to the music here. The compositions here are really accessible to your ear and at the same time they are really climatic (specially because of the use of multiple guitars, including some slide melodies). the music here has a definite seventies feeling which I dig and you can not escape the catchy choruses and phrases that will soon stick into your mind. Tracks like "monster..:" are more introspective showing a calmer side of the band with different ideas. One of the trademarks here are the vocal harmonies that are all over the compositions giving a beautiful sound to the music. This album isfull of ideas and I am completely sure that on each new listening you will find some new elements in the songs. This is pure melody with clever poppish arrangements...this band can easily be in the charts soon. So keep an eye on Alpha Cat!!
Jersey's Elizabeth Mccullough takes on what artists like Joni Mitchell and Chrissie Hynde were known for, and builds on it on "Pearl Harbor." If it's gifted songwriting that one is after, one needs to go no further than "Pearl Harbor," where the opening "Something of Value" blooms with a driving beat and some country twangs thrown into lush choruses. Mccullough's rich, deep vocals --- which echo those of Hynde---chronicle tales of everything from losing family ("Snow") to one's vulnerability ("Pearl Harbor"). "Monsters (You Can't do It)" stands as a dark pop anthem, while "Across the River Twice" bears a Mazzy Star quality. Like a well-woven garment, "Pearl Harbor" stands the elements and doesn't wear thin.

Real Boy Reviews

(All the Right Things) This is a great performance of an equally fantastic song. Alpha Cat, a New York based, mixed gender quartet (three ladies and a guy back-up singer) build an ambience quickly with an intro of woozy congas (recalling Phil Collins "In the Air Tonight") and maracas that add subtle texture to a southwestern guitar motif. Elizabeth McCullough's vocals sound similar to her obvious influence, Beth Orton on her breakthrough album, Central Reservation. When McCullough sings, "Who was that woman I saw you with last night/Or does it really matter/You know that you left me so long ago" her phrasing paints a clear picture of a heartache -- fresh out of the box -- and the subsequent resignation that the relationship has, in reality been dead and gone for quite some time. "All the Right Things" is a gorgeous, devastating requiem with the feel of a daydream, buoyed by an undercurrent of tribal rhythm that provides a cathartic experience for both listener and performer. For fans of Beth Orton, Rita Coolidge, Phil Collins, Beck�s Mutations, Joseph Arthur, etc.
"Vocalist/guitarist Elizabeth McCullough layers the ballsiness of Patti Smith, the brassy sass of Chrissie Hynde, and the inward-searching focus of Natalie Merchant over a Pretenders tough, Television urgent, Liz Phair-meets-Michael Stipe vibe that incorporates dashes of rechurned Buffalo Springfield guitarisms (including a nod at 'Mr. Soul') courtesy of Richard Lloyd on the amazing 'Ground Rush,' Rich Feridun on the enticing 'Horse to Water;' and co-producer Fred Smith on the sullen '7 Year Itch.' A tremendous talent, www.thealphacat.com has the whole story while a quick listen is yours at: www.mp3.com,alphacat.iuma.com.
Al Muzer - the Aquarian Weekly (Jun 14, 2000)
Alpha Cat, led by Elizabeth McCullough, writes some strong songs in an edgy, left of-center pop kind of way...Who do they sound like? ... if you're in dire need of reference points, think of a grittier Aimee Mann with a Television cover band backing up. Once in awhile, as on All the Right Things, McCullough summons up a sound that blends the haunting Americana of Gillian Welch with the minimalistic pop of bands like Dream Syndicate and Mazzy Star, and that is quite a convincing combination.
Dan Cook - Free Times Weekly: Columbia, South Carolina (Apr 4, 2000)

Live Reviews

... blending the skill of songwriters such as Joni Mitchell and Neal Young with a love of soulful pop.
Time Out London (Jul 23, 2003)
I first met Elizabeth McCullough a/k/a Alpha Cat about six months ago at the Guitar Bar in Hoboken, New Jersey, and right away there was trouble. She was strumming a sunny little number called Black Hole and when someone told her I played drums, she rolled her eyes and honey-venomed "oh....one of them." Nice to meet you, too. The trouble is that I am irresistibly drawn to chronic cranks with invariably disastrous psychic-romantic-economic-everythingic results, and if they also suffer from Music Sickness and can pack their hurts, hopes and terrors into powerful songs, then I'm really a goner. And Elizabeth does this kind of work quite well. I'd taken her "Real Boy" EP that day, and kept going back to it's funny, intense and surprisingly beautiful "How the fuck do you steer this thing called Life?" songs. "Ground Rush" stayed with me, which I later learned was about sky-diving doubling (tripling? infintupling?) as a metaphor for transformations we are hurtling towards and powerless to resist. Fast-forward five months and I'm having a Big Night Out in London. First stop is the Shepherd's Bush Empire to watch fellow Hobokenites Yo La Tengo mutate from shy neighbors into full-blown stars, then on to a Soho club to see a set by this friend of the obnoxious Yank I'm with. ...which of course turns out to be Madame Must-To-Avoid. The 12 Bar Club is an odd place to play-the audience is either looking up into the performer's crotch or down on their pate, while the musician pours his or her heart out to a 17th century wooden beam. But she has the nice little crowd's rapt attention and her smoky voice sounds strong and confident. Most of the set comes from a new full-length CD called "Pearl Harbor" and it's all going very well. Samy Bishai has joined on violin (that same day, as it turned out), plus there's an ernest back-up vocalist introduced only as Derek who Sonnys (sunny?) for Elizabeth's cloudy Cher. After her show (split, man!), we drink too much, pick-up some fellow strays and hit all the after hours places that will take us in (what the fuck are you doing?). The evening ends (run, you idiot!) when the sun pulls the plug. "Ground Rush"? - Chris Butler
Chris Butler - Get Rhythm (UK (Jun 3, 2001)