From the opening beat of the thumping “Gimme a Chantz!,” it is evident that Sleepy Kitty’s latest album Infinite City is fun and eclectic.
On its MySpace page, the duo mentions some of its influences as other independent acts like The Fall, Velvet Underground and, surprisingly enough, Judy Garland.
The St. Louis-based pair, consisting of Paige Brubeck and Evan Suit, brings a new energy not seen in independent rock for years. They embrace fun, pop-influenced sounds to the point of making their own strong hybrid of pop songs with an edge. This is shown perfectly by the spectacular “School’s Out,” whose radio-friendly beat is counteracted by a sharp rebuke by Brubeck that includes some not-so-radio-ready language. It is easily the highlight of the record and could be a breakout hit for the duo.
Don’t be mistaken; the duo can rock out as well, shown by “Speaking Politely,” whose balls-to-the-wall guitar riffs and gritty lyrics are as local-rock-club-ready as “School’s Out” is radio-friendly. That’s the strength of the band; it can cross genres very easily, which makes its music accessible to your average 18-year-old freshman and your angst-ridden 32-year-old “super senior” college student without losing its edge.
As an example of its own angst-ridden ways, the sullen “Way Out” is a marvel of a piano-driven ode to the sad girl and a possible end to her world. Brubeck also takes the lead with the keys and vocals on this song, making her versatility a highlight of the EP. As previously mentioned, the connection to Judy Garland made more sense as the record wore on, especially with “Way Out.” Brubeck -- like Garland -- has a quality that can draw the listener in very easily, capturing his or her attention without making the audience overanalyze.
There are no faults to this project. Infinite City is a perfectly balanced post-apocalyptic yet arm-shaking jam session, with something to make someone think, laugh , throw some shit and possibly do all three at the same time.