Family Cat

  • Family Cat
  • Tell 'Em We're Surfin' (Bad Girl) 1989 
  • Place with a Name EP (Bad Girl) 1990 

Following a 1989 debut single entitled “Tom Verlaine,” this likably scruffy Cornwall-to-London quintet plays unfussy, mildly psychedelic garage pop with off-kilter lyrics on the catchy and cool eight-song Tell ‘Em We’re Surfin’ mini-album. Despite the intimidating threat of a three-man guitar army, the Family Cat is strictly small-scale; while there’s a bite to the droney textures, other bands get far more density and aggression from a single strummer.

The subsequent EP smoothes and tightens the Family Cat with four new tunes, including “Place with a Name,” a delectable ultra-pop tune with rich harmonies and a scathing noise-guitar solo, and the gently twisted “Theme from ‘The Family Cat’.”

[Ira Robbins]