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Cougar - Patriot

Cougar Patriot
Cougar - Patriot
(CD/LP) Counter Records COUNT024/COUNTCD024, 2009-08-31

Cougar has recently announced the signing of a multiple-album deal with legendary London-based record label Ninja Tune (Kid606, Coldcut, Kid Koala, The Bug, Amon Tobin, Cinematic Orchestra, OneSelf, etc.) in collaboration with their new guitar-driven imprint, Counter Records. The forthcoming album, Patriot, should see the light of day in late summer, with release tours covering the globe. Debut full-length Law CD/LP (available now) was mixed by John Mcentire (Tortoise, The Sea and Cake).

Cougar Patriot
Cougar - Patriot
(CD/LP) Counter Records COUNT024/COUNTCD024, 2009-08-31

Tracklisting :
01. Stay Famous | MP3
02. Florida Logic
03. Rhinelander | MP3
04. Pelourinho
05. Thundersnow
06. Heavy Into Jeff
07. Endings
08. This Is An Affidavit
09. Appomattox
10. Daunte v. Armada
11. Absaroka

Links :

Press Release :
If music were capable of physically inhabiting space and time, of taking up residence in a room instead of just resonating in one, then perhaps we could properly map artists' output. Some records would be synonymous with their place of their birth. Some would be suburbs leeching off the famous cities of their influences. Others would be unexplored islands far out at sea. Cougar fall into this last category, and it is a strange, beautiful land indeed.

Conceived in Madison, Wisconsin, Cougar's instrumental arrangements fall somewhere between Four Tet, Fugazi, and Nick Drake's guitar work, albeit optimistic as opposed to morose. The band's singular sound is rooted in a keen sensibility of form and texture, more in line with sample-based music and modern classical than indie rock - which isn't to say this is rock-as-academia – Cougar also invoke the roaring riff monster, the fist-in-the-air, anthemic head-banger to which so many groups give only an ironic nod.

Cougar's second album, the forthcoming "Patriot," is an aggressive, narrative affair that sees the band reach even greater extremes than on their debut, "Law." The epic, sparkling counterpoint of the first record crops up, but "Patriot" firmly establishes itself as a different music, one that shreds the lines between electronic, rock and modern, but never forgets to pay allegiance to the hook. From the nuanced drive of opener "Stay Famous", through the widescreen propulsion of "Florida Logic," the choral sweep and electronic/organic beats of "Rhinelander" and the space logic of "Pelourinho," the band lay out their stall early. The hard-rocking, polyrhythmic assault of "Thundersnow," the fuzzed out "Heavy Into Jeff," the melodic build and final explosion of "Endings," the summer melancholy of "Appomattox," and the Hammond-led uplift of "Daunte v. Armada" culminates in the final beauty of "Absaroka". It's a record which sounds completely consistent and of a piece, yet manages to range widely across musical genres and style.

Extensive touring supported the group's debut album, "Law" (mixed with John McEntire of Tortoise), which made numerous Best of 2007 lists in the USA. Live dates in the States and abroad included stints with U.N.K.L.E., Maximo Park, Art Brut and more. Paul Smith of Maximo Park (in calling "Law" his favorite release of 2007) is on record as an admirer of their "unique blend of beautiful instrumental melodies and propulsive rhythms, both organic and electronic", which sums up this unique group's unique appeal about as well as anything.

Cougar Patriot
(original album artwork before signing to Counter/Ninja Tune)

Personnel :
david henzie-skogen - drums, beats, percussions
todd hill - basses (upright and electric)
trent johnson - guitars (electric and acoustic)
aaron sleator - synths, laptop, guitar (electric)
dan venne - guitars (electric, classical, live sound)

About their first album "Law" :
'Law is a nearly flawless example of intelligent musical design.' - XLR8R
'Pure Pleasure.' - Timeout Chicago
'A bittersweet, innocent wash of trickling guitars that counter each other like diffident sea creatures in courtship...harnessing layers in icy, crystalline symmetry.' - Pitchfork
'Already one of the best albums of 2006.' - Sinead Gleeson
'Melodically lush, rhythmically compelling...gloriously precise and urgent.' - The Wire
"Breathtaking..." - Bes


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