Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Kilkenny Cats - Hands Down (1986, Coyote)

I must not have cared for the Kilkenny Cat's twangy performance in Athens, GA Inside/Out when I saw it on VHS nearly twenty years ago, but after long resisting the band, a reasonably priced copy of this album came into my hands.  Unlike Dreams So Real, another second-rung Athens band, who also released an album on Coyote Records in '86, the Cats didn't have the advantage of hiring Peter Buck as producer.  While some crisply ringing Rickenbacker frequently permeates Hands Down, mouthpiece Tom Check has a tendency to sing in a weak characterization of Michael Stipe, though I'm assuming it's not out of jest.  Plenty of gritty goodness abounds in the guise of "Thinking Fire," "Far Reaching Sign," and the throbbing title track, but this platter has some clunkers too (e.g. "Country Junk" more than lives up to it's title).  I suspect the Cats were still cutting their teeth on Hands Down, but according to Trouser Press they would only release another ep before disbanding. 

01. Night Fall
02. Shakin' in the '60s
03. Morning Song
04. Edith Setwell
05. Thinking Fire
06. Carousel
07. Hands Down
08. Country Junk
09. Far Reaching Sign
10. Tatterman
11. Sister Sin


http://www23.zippyshare.com/v/ksluTr1B/file.html

10 comments:

The Contrarian said...

Thanks for posting. The first live indie show I ever saw was the Kilkenny Cats and Dumptruck at the venerable Maxwell's in Hoboken, NJ, in 1987, shortly after I got my driver's license.

marchenland said...

I saw them around late 1986 at a punk dive bar, Jerry's, in Lafayette, Louisiana. The live show was woeful (and that might have been anyone's fault - I remember having to sit outside because the sound was really, REALLY bad inside). Later I heard a recording of "Shakin' in the 60s" and wished I'd had a chance to hear them again, perhaps in a better venue.

bri-fi said...

Big fan of these guys since day one. Got to see them live at a reunion show in the mid 90's. It was incredible. Also, the lead singer's name is Tom CHEEK. If you haven't heard the E.P. you mention (Hammer) you should hear it. It was a typical rock record that just feels like home. Also, I'm looking for a copy of their first album, which I've never heard, Attractive Figure. If anyone has a copy of that- secrethangingperson.tumblr.com. Thanks!

bri-fi said...

Big fan of these guys since day one. Got to see them live at a reunion show in the mid 90's. It was incredible. Also, the lead singer's name is Tom CHEEK. If you haven't heard the E.P. you mention (Hammer) you should hear it. It was a typical rock record that just feels like home. Also, I'm looking for a copy of their first album, which I've never heard, Attractive Figure. If anyone has a copy of that- secrethangingperson.tumblr.com. Thanks!

Michael Rowe said...

Went to High School with Allen Wagner.. great drummer.. he also performed with a band back in the day called "Is Ought Gap" which I always thought was the best name for a band

bondo3 said...

Attractive Figure was a 7" single. A US version with a color sleeve and an export with B/W. Hammer was an LP. The cats were also on a few compilation albums and a movie soundtrack.

bondo3 said...

Attractive Figure was a 7" single. A US version with a color sleeve and an export with B/W. Hammer was an LP. The cats were also on a few compilation albums and a movie soundtrack.

James Brown said...

Bassist Sean O'Brien (with whom I went to high school) was bassist for Come and fronted Fashion Battery (another obscure Athens band of that era). They are featured on the film Athens Inside Out. Just bad luck they didn't sell more records. Hands Down I still own on vinyl...not sure its was ever a disc

Karageorgopoulos Dimitrios said...

hi there friend. is it possible to post this with a new link to another more convinient site? thanx. dimitrios, agrinio, greece.

Days of Broken Arrows said...

Never thought I'd hear of these guys again!

Saw them live almost 30 years ago to the day. They opened for Translator at the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC. I was interviewing Translator for a college newspaper article and got to talking to some of the members of this band. They all seemed nice enough and the performance was great. So was the audience response. Then they disappeared. Guess that's the breaks. Thanks for posting -- I can finally hear the LP.