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Cat Jams Label releases appear at Maude Vintage Clothing and Costumes, the
Peace Nook, Whizz Records,
Ragtag CinemaCafe, Slackers, and Apop Records, and the on-campus University Bookstore in downtown Columbia, Missouri, as well as the Slackers in Jefferson City.
Cat Jams Label releases are in format at Columbia radio stations KCOU 88.1 FM and KOPN 89.5 FM.
©2003-5 Cat Jams Label / Blanche Braden / Aaron Arnoldy / authors & artists /
Cat Jams Label, Columbia MO
initial run released March 5, 2005
17 tracks, 63:43
buy it (US$9.00, free shipping anywhere)
Teen post-psych prodigies Zach McLuckie and Rex McMurry, the original Pows, reunite in a rule-crushing eight-track home recording project. Adam Roberts joined the band for their one live show (the release show for their sole album 'Cadillac Soldier' at Mojo's, Columbia MO March 5 2005) and appears in the album artwork, but does not play on the album. Zach submitted the CD as his admissions portfolio to the Chicago Institute of the Arts, and was accepted. Rex and Adam continue to play with Miami Dragons, and Zach and Rex continue to play with Cave.
Zach McLuckie: most guitars, vocals, synths
Rex McMurry: most drums, fx, lead vox on 12 & 13
both: all songwriting, recording, instruments, artwork
play entire album
1. "A Rich Man" 1:42 2.5m
2. "The Piper" 4:12 6.5m
3. "0i = 0r" 3:11 4.9m
4. "Hubba Hubba" 1:54 3.0m
5. "King of the World" 3:16 4.9m
6. "Malaysian Skins" 2:30 3.8m
7. "Body People" 2:13 3.4m
8. "Be Haze" 4:00 6.1m
9. "Hitched" 0:21 0.5m
10. "Dino Crisis" 3:10 4.9m
11. "Snob" 3:16 4.9m
12. "Ice and gravel" 2:10 3.2m
13. "Brotherz" 3:26 5.4m
14. "the cyclone" 1:37 2.5
15. "Thermodynamics" 1:13 1.8m
16. "The Morse Codes" 3:41 5.4m
unlisted addition to later runs:
17. "live at Mojo's, March 5 2005" 21:51 15.5m
a demo of 'Piper' here
the entire first and only show in the Videos section
Zach McLuckie and Rex McMurry, aka Sabertooth, have always played together; they released their eponymous first album as the Pows in spring 2003, when both were 15 years old. The undeniable chops of the eleven-track, twenty-minute bare-bones garage-rock thesis made them instant scene fixtures, and their spastic stage shows (including chubby Zach's admirable re-re outfits) and parodically simple song structures belied greater things. Their second album, Neoon Winteeer, was recorded on reel-to-reel at the home studio of a conniving New Age multi-instrumentalist, and featured 112 possible liner art combinations; it also featured a stunning array of kitchen-sink production tricks, found sounds, electronics, and Dada lyrics, along with the expected Pows 2.0 shredding guitarwork and yelps (Zach) and rhythms (Rex). It became recognized in apropos circles as a classic, typifying Columbia's underdocumented college-town teen art-rock scene at its peak. After adding two band members, being named Best Local Band (editors' pick, not readers', natch), opening for the Black Keys, the Ssion, Enon, Glass Candy, Tomlabs Jon Sheffield, and hometown friends Mahjongg (every time they returned to Columbia, and once at Chicago gallery/warehouse Buddy), and passing eleventh grade, the Pows amicably disbanded in summer 2004.
Zach, the songwriter, began work on a solo four-track project he called Sabertooth, but soon called Rex, the recordist, back on board. The two disappeared into Rex's basement and storage unit (the community rehearsal space) for a few months, both manning a slew of instruments and no-budget home recording techniques, meticulously filling the breadth of their analog eight-track, building songs off a borrowed early 90s drum machine and lyrics off old National Geographics. Zach and Rex's self-made recording independence allowed them, for the first time, to build song- and production-up simultaneously, and after much sweat and equalization, Cadillac Soldier was born. By once again assembling a new vocabulary to posit their pop theorems, they had definitively out-evolved their previous album -- for the second time in a row, and before they were both able to vote.
Pows noisist Adam Roberts (Nightmare Sisters, the Professional Ex, the I Love You But I'm Not In Love With Yous, Miami Dragons) rejoined for instrument switchoffs at the live shows, the sole one of which was the CD release (opening for Lost Sounds) on March 5, 2005; afterwards, booked gigs were quietly canceled, and the group disbanded, its unspoken mission seemingly accomplished. Rex became the percussion backbone of arty-party band Miami Dragons, and Zach and Rex were founding members of rotating-cast psych-thrash-jam outfit Cave; both bands featured Mahjongg's Josh Johannpeter on Drum Kit #2. Zach submitted Cadillac Soldier as his admissions portfolio to the Chicago Institute of the Arts, was accepted, and is now beginning his freshman year.
Currently, the album is for sale solely through the Cat Jams webstore, where it may also be freely downloaded, along with a video of the sole live show and all Pows releases. The liners for the first 50-ish of Cadillac Soldier are printed on ridged cardstock, and the subsequent 25-ish used brown paper bag paper; it is not yet decided what future liners will be printed on. 'Snob' appears on Painfully Midwestern Records' forthcoming Comomusic Anthology 1990-2005 Vol. 2. A compilation of Sabertooth demos and remixes is planned for this winter.
Also: Zach included Adam's photo in the album art, leading every reviewer to date to believe that Adam appears on the recorded album somewhere, though he does not.
Baked Alaska, My Secret Garden /
say hello to the sceptre, his heart has hardened /
oh yah yah, its like the hammer in the ice now
-- track 2, The Piper
about Cadillac Soldier:
"The vocals will peel the skin off your face, and the rhythm section grooves will provide an anchor for the mounds of electronic squeals that would otherwise batter your brain into insanity. ... Some songs evoke the random funkiness of Need New Body (Body People) or the tribal rhythms of Liars (the untitled track 13), but other than that, Sabertooths sound is tough to pin down, which is exactly what makes it so fascinating. It has the ability to sound like something familiar, but it never parades its influences. ... it deserves to become part of your daily activities."
-- Playback St. Louis
"... not only electronic nonsense, but also 100 percent rock. So thats, like, 200 percent good music. ... Fuzzy math? No. Lets make it 'distorted math.' Distorted, like the vocals on this phenomenal piece of work."
-- The Maneater
" ... ranges from 31st century, monolithic garage rock, complete with bleeping synth noise interjections ("Be Haze"), to nervous ticks of rhythm ("Hubba Hubba") ... every track sounds amazing, with the tighter production really working to its advantage."
-- The Truman Monitor
"... there is no trivializing the powerful noise of McLuckie and Rex McMurry ... It's hard to hear their influences because the heady brew that the boys whip up sounds plainly new. ... Thee Headcoats meets the psychedelic-noise rock of Washington D.C.'s The Apes, topped off with electronic flourishes."
-- The Joplin Globe
"Esoteric yet catchy and melodic, Sabertooth makes a first album that's as much a part of the era as a reaction to it."
-- The Trouble With Normal
" ... reminiscent of 1970s Brian Eno staying up two nights in a row, then remembering he had agreed to do a bunch of Royal Trux remixes, and plugging through them even though he keeps nodding off and he doesn't realize his tape player's pitch control has been accidentally bumped to an unknown quantity."
-- an email I wrote to people
"I live in Columbia, Missouri, with the guys in Sabertooth. I can’t really remember exactly when we met or what the circumstances were, but I can remember liking them all right away. Zach and Rex were in a group called the Pows, who, as a result of their teen charisma and well-timed introduction to the scene (and through the help of a certain cat-owned record label) became the best-loved 15 year olds in a punk group that I can remember. I don’t really remember meeting Adam, either, but his reserved demeanor and love of loud guitar (as evidenced through his earlier group Professional Ex) were such an intriguing contradiction that I began to notice his shy self around town a lot more. That is, until Sabertooth started. I used to wonder why I never saw Zach and Rex and Adam around anymore, and then my friend played the Sabertooth tape for me, and I realized it was because these guys were holed up in the rehearsal space, laying their sexual frustrations and social anxieties to tape with a constantly shifting soundtrack of post-punk cut-ups, psychedelic wah wah overload, and half-formed attempts at humor. I like to think that the mixtape I made for Zach last summer had some hand in inspiring Zach while he and Rex and Adam put these songs together. But that is my own hubris talking.
"I get no personal gain from telling you that this album is probably the most startlingly smart and fun thing I have heard from the large and varied community of musicians in my town. It’s like the beginning all over again."
-- Sean Witzman, noted radio personality / Family LSD charter member
"Expect Sabertooth to make a far-reaching dent in the musical landscape."
-- Jason Cafer, Painfully Midwestern Records owner
[Zach and Rexs long musical and personal friendship with once-Columbians Mahjongg is] probably the most important thing of getting this record press.You should totally put the band names in bold so people will see Mahjongg on there.
-- Aaron Richter, former Rolling Stone intern
hey you should do a search for 'raydoncong' on google, and then find all the people that wrote about mahjongg, then send them the stuff. tell them we're all friends and shit.
-- Hunter Husar of Mahjongg
contact Zach, Rex, Adam, Cat Jams
Sabertooth Press Page
Cat Jams Label, JAM-015 CDR
released March 5, 2005
17 tracks, 63:43 (16 listed tracks + unlisted 21:51 recording of sole live show)
The story of Sabertooth begins in 2003, when Zach McLuckie and Rex McMurry released their eponymous first album as the Pows on Cat Jams. Both were 15 years old. The album, an eleven-song, twenty-minute garage rock thesis, featured Zach's economic guitar and unearthly squeals, Rex's flawless drumming, and a failure to play by the rules of song structure that cast the tracks with an art-concrete veneer. Lyrics -- like say 'Our First Love Song''s "Girl when I saw you standing there / oh oh / wearing your hair in that special way / I didn't know what to say / so I just ran away / and cried / oh, boo hoo" -- got repeated twice, in their entirety, and then the song ended. I wasn't sure if the guys were geniuses or lazy or both, but I had my suspicions, and they offered to help me with the folding, so I put their album out.
A year and a half later, after releasing a second album (the seven-choices-of-album-cover Neoon Winteeer) with bassist Ryan Haas and a host of analog studio tricks and synths, and adding Adam Roberts (on 'noise') for a few final shows and compilation tracks, the Pows amicably disbanded to pursue other projects and not get compared to the White Stripes by dumb people anymore. Zach began work on a solo four-track project he called Sabertooth, and soon called Rex on board to help with recording and, you know, making music. The two disappeared into Rex's basement for a month or two, both manning a slew of instruments and experimental no-budget recording techniques, and emerging sporadically with new demos. After much sweat and equalization, an album, Cadillac Soldier, was born. Zach and Rex called Adam back on board to take part in some instrument switchoffs for the live show, the sole one of which was the CD release show (opening for Lost Sounds) on March 5, 2005. Zach submitted the album as his admissions portfolio to the Chicago Institute of the Arts, and was accepted. The band booked some more shows and cancelled them, for their own reasons, and quietly ceased to exist.
I continue to promote and support this album because I think it is excellent and new-sounding. The liners for the first 50-ish were printed on ridged cardstock, and the subsequent 25-ish used brown paper bag paper. It is not yet decided what future liners will be printed on. The video of the live show, as well as the entire album, can be downloaded from the catjams.com site. Also: Zach included Adam's photo in the album art, thus leading every reviewer to date to believe that Adam appears on the recorded album somewhere, but he does not.
CEO, Cat Jams Label
April 24, 2005
"[Cadillac Soldier] layers hard guitar, furious drumming, plastic electronics, random vocal snippets, and monotonous drone in a wildly unusual manner. Some songs evoke the random funkiness of Need New Body (“Body People”) or the tribal rhythms of Liars (the untitled track 13), but other than that, Sabertooth’s sound is tough to pin down, which is exactly what makes it so fascinating. It has the ability to sound like something familiar, but it never parades its influences."
-- Aaron Richter, Playback St. Louis
"Cadillac Soldier is 16 tracks of stuff that ranges from 31st century, monolithic garage rock, complete with bleeping synth noise interjections ("Be Haze") to nervous ticks of rhythm ("Hubba Hubba"). . . .Every track sounds amazing, with the tighter production really working to its advantage."
-- Tim Linn, the Truman Monitor
"I used to wonder why I never saw Zach and Rex and Adam around anymore, and then my friend played the Sabertooth tape for me, and I realized it was because these guys were holed up in the rehearsal space, laying their sexual frustrations and social anxieties to tape with a constantly shifting soundtrack of post-punk cut-ups, psychedelic wah wah overload, and half-formed attempts at humor… I get no personal gain from telling you that this album is probably the most startlingly smart and fun thing I have heard from the large and varied community of musicians in my town. It’s like the beginning all over again."
-- Sean Witzman, of KCOU 88.1 FM and KOPN 89.5 FM, mostly for his own benefit
"Cadillac Soldier is amazing. . . . Fuzzy math? No. Let’s make it “distorted math.” Distorted, like the vocals on this phenomenal piece of work."
-- Scott Belden, the Maneater
"If Sabertooth stays together, they're too good to hide from the prominent indie labels forever. Expect Sabertooth to make a far-reaching dent in the musical landscape."
-- Jason Cafer, comomusic.com
Suggested tracks for download:
"The Piper" 4:12 6.5m
"Be Haze" 4:00 6.1m
"Snob" 3:16 4.9m
If you have any questions or comments contact Zach, Rex, Adam, or Cat Jams
"Terries Back In Town" 1:47 1.7m
"Black and White" 2:03 1.9m
"Chesty" 4:26 4.1m
"Peanut Butter Slice" 1:50 1.7m
"Fag For Fashion" 1:20 1.3m
"I Am Wendy Carlos" 3:00 2.8m
"Killer Proteins" 2:44 2.6m
"Love Is Lost" 1:25 1.3m
"Female Fantasy" 1:50 1.7m
"Where U Gonna Run 2" 4:21 4.0m
"Imaginational Figments" 1:58 1.9m
"Have You Seen My Virginities" 1:03 1.0m
"Monday Night Football" 3:07 2.9m
"totally Isaac!!!" 3:07 2.9m
"Ottomatic Jam" 0:35 0.6m
"Pose" 1:48 1.7m
"Back It Up Moma" 3:30 3.3m
"Dear Mrs. Pretty" 1:26 1.4m
"The Things We Do To Impress" 2:06 2.0m
"How Do You Kill A Strawberry" 2:50 2.7m
"Mad Mood" 2:47 2.6m
"Epidemiology" 1:44 1.6m
"Our First Love Song" 1:30 1.4m
"Pig's Wars and Sorcerers" 3:41 3.4m
"Live @ PCPF Show, 3/13/04" 6:46 6.2m
"Spread East" 8:24 7.8m
"the fury of the Matador" 5:46 5.3m
"Sea Jam (tentative title)" 6:19 5.8m
"Hits!" includes all tracks from JAM-007, "The Pows" and from JAM-009, "Neoon Winteeer" :
as well as 3 tracks from the Rodenberg Productions Compilations and a live track from the Pro-Choice Pro-Fashion Show
"Hits!" Review from The Maneater
"Hits!" Review from The Trouble With Normal
Comomusic Anthology Review (includes "Chesty" by the Pows) from Vox Magazine
Last Show Announcement in the Columbia Daily Tribune
"Neoon Winteeer" Review from ComoMusic.com
Show Review @ Mojo's with The Murdocks and Jerusalem and the Starbaskets
Show Review @ the Missouri Theatre with Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Mini Interview w/Zach McLuckie from Vox
Article on "Neoon Winteeer" from Vox
Pows Memorial Video composed by Channing Kennedy - March 8, 2005 - RealVideo - 7:21
contact Zach, Rex, Adam, Cat Jams