Like Cats And Dogs

Catherine Wheel

Mercury, 1996


REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer


A B-sides or rarities album is a good option for bands to fill the gap between albums. However, such records are strictly meant for fans, as the songs are often times incomplete and always never as good as the studio records. In short, there’s a good reason why they never made it to regular albums in the first place. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Like Cats And Dogs is a very different B-sides album. For starters, it sounds complete and not residual at all. It has a structure, flows perfectly and could easily pass as a regular studio record.

Although albums of such nature sound a bit like a group’s preceding records, as with Like Cats And Dogs, this still manages has a totally fresh sound. It sits perfectly between its predecessor Happy Days and its successor Adam And Eve, inheriting the grungy eclecticism of the former and the moodiness of the later and signifying the natural evolution in the band’s music.

The record kicks off with “Heal-2,” a shorter version of the ballad “Heal” (originally from Happy Days) and this somber emotional journey continues as what follows is a string of moody tracks. It is in this journey that one of the best-done cover versions a song can ever have is heard: “Wish You Were Here,” which is executed with the aid of nothing more than the acoustic guitar and a mouth-organ. “Car,” “Girl Stand Still” and “Saccharine” run well over the six-minute mark and test the listener’s patience. They are experimental and psychedelic, but beautifully done.

The second half of the album is way less moody and more the hard rock style of Chrome and Happy Days; “Tongue Twisted,” “Backward Guitar” and “High Heels” are the standouts here.

Like Cats And Dogs is indeed a collection of “album” songs, rather than “non-album” ones. The small note in the lyrics booklet, by the band and the band manager, starts with the lines “It’s always been important to us that the extra tracks we record for singles be as good as anything we do” – a fitting description of Like Cats And Dogs.

Rating: A-

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© 2007 Vish Iyer and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Mercury, and is used for informational purposes only.