‘Bad Kitty’ is the third album from Liverpool’s STE MCCABE and coupled with a heavy touring schedule he has built up a bit of a formidable reputation as a purveyor of ‘One-Man-Pop-Electro-Queer-Noise.’ He is also a feminist.
This is my first experience of STE’s work, although the style, which I would not previously have described in the same terms as STE, is not exactly new. It is however still very fresh-sounding and evokes many a memory of the original New Wave bands of the late Seventies. In fact, in general terms, this album is a highly-charged concoction of several genres of a perky, retro nature. For instance, there is a bit of ‘riot grrrl’ infused snarl shining through while the album cover and title reflect a little on the J-pop side!
You may be thinking this all sounds a little on the ‘camp’ side. You’d be right! And it’s great fun!
The twelve tracks last a mere thirty-two minutes, ensuring that each one is snappy and to the point. There’s no messing around here. It’s all about clever, pointed lyrics punctuated with some acerbic and self-deprecating wit and sung in STE’s kind of whiny, affected vocal style.
There are some serious points being made in songs such as ‘Ste McCabe 1, Lloyds TSB Nil,’ and ‘The City Chambers,’ and ‘The Judge Scratches His Head,’ amongst others, but as much as he condemns the state of the country, homophobic attitudes and the greed economy, it’s all done in a witty manner that doesn’t come across like some jumped-up pop-star sounding off and forcing their opinion from their soap-box.
Overall, I’d say there is a terrific mix of say, Pete Shelley, Liam Lynch and early John Otway messing around with some infectious beats and fuzzed up guitars, mixing in a slight and occasional electro vibe.
As I said earlier – it’s all great fun!
(Released through Cherryade Records on 29th October 2012)