Cougar - Thundersnow

Ian Atherton 29/05/2009

Rating: 4/5

Cougar describe their music as emergency rock. Wonderful. Emergency rock. Tells you all you need to know. Cougar make MAN MUSIC. Cougar make music to soundtrack nuclear disasters and avalanches and every kind of incident in which people chase or are chased. Emergency rock.

Cougar come from Madison, Wisconsin. Cougar have five members. Cougar feature the drummer from outstanding alt-hip-hoppers The Youngblood Brass Band, who describe themselves as riot jazz. Superb. Riot jazz.

Emergency rock, then.

Thundersnow is MAN MUSIC, that much is certain. Riffs RIFF, drums DRUM and implausible synthesisers make SPACE NOISES. Your pulse quickens. Sweat drips. You're being chased. Emergency rock.

The flipside, Rhinelander, is not man music. It has a choral intro. Then gently plucked guitars. How tame. But a dark DJ Shadow beat kicks in. You're moving quicker. You're looking over your shoulder. There's distorted bass. You're being followed. Here comes the implausible synthesiser. SPACE NOISES. You're being chased. Emergency rock. Guitars again. This time they squall. Panic. The choir again. Heaven? Synthesiser. Emergency rock. Fade.