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Album Review: Dogs And Cats / Living Together by The Stayawakes

Southsea punk rock band The Stayawakes release their debut album Dogs And Cats / Living Together on 11th June via Surefire Discs, BadHORROR and ShoveItUpYourCult Records. Named as an homage to the 1980’s slasher movie genre, south coast UK power-pop quintet The Stayawakes deliver big-hearted jams and sweet harmonies.

Underpinned by friendships going back decades, schoolyard rivals Andrew Ricks (vocals/guitar) and Peter Foulk (guitar) formed a lifelong bond over a piano and a Dire Straits cover. In 2001 they teamed up with Steven Hart (drums) to form melodic post-punk outfit Day of the Fight. With big ambitions and a really crap van, they toured extensively through the noughties until the wheels literally and metaphorically came off the bus. After a hiatus Andrew, Peter and Steven had a need to get in a room together and make noise again.

Pulling from influences such as The Lemonheads, Beezewax, Posies, Ash, Dinosaur Jr, The Smiths, Honey Rider, Sugar and Teenage Fanclub to name a few, you’ll find Dogs And Cats / Living Together to be a thoroughly enjoyable and pleasant album. It doesn’t set the world alight but if it’s uplifting and instantaneous power pop you’re looking for then it doesn’t get much better.

If you’re going to point towards a marker for the band’s sound think of Ash at their best. Spikey guitars mixed with delectable harmonies and love-lorn lyrics make for an insatiable listen. ‘Little Explorer’ and ‘Inevitable Truth’ are the standout tracks with ‘Highschool Weirdness’ being the most Ash like and lead single ‘Keepsakes’ being a highpoint that gives the album a sturdy foundation.  Speaking of the track Foulk said, “Keepsakes is one of our older songs and remains a band favourite. It was an important song for us when we were defining our sound; we wanted to maintain the energy we were accustomed to in our former bands, but give more importance to the melody. The result was a thickly layered guitar tone of power chords and harmonizing octave chords (a technique stolen from Smashing Pumpkins – Siamese Dream) on top of a full-on drum workout, with a strong vocal melody soaring over the top.”

AD Rating 6.5/10

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