Cata9tales – A Chameleon’s Dream
There is a scene in Tim Burton’s Batman where the Joker and his crew tear-gas the Gotham City art museum and proceed to vandalize and lay waste to works of Vermeer, Rembrandt, Renoir and others. This display of wanton destruction is preceded with Nicholson’s Joker shouting, “Gentlemen! Let’s broaden our minds.”
This also is the opening sampled line on Virginia based Cata9tales dope new EP titled A Chameleon’s Dream, and It’s a suiting one because although vocalist Berkley Priest and DJ alchemist/multi-instrumentalist musical everyman Kenny “Kreator” Perkins certainly aren’t destroying precious works of art, they are splashing some exciting new color onto a genre of music that’s been in need of some resuscitation. Also, it really should come as no surprise that the duo have academic and musical backgrounds that are nothing to shake a spray can at. You can hear this clearly in the words and flow of these manic street songs that tend to get the neck hairs standing on end and the heart ticking a bit faster.
Yeah, these are some smartass tunes that had me nodding my head and fine-tuning to the lyrics before the first track had played out. Although, I must confess that I may harbor a bit of a crush on clever words strung together over top of well thought out beats and measures. Those street positive rappy rock jams that make you feel all powerful, hot, bothered, and ready to fight, then hug and laugh.
In the world of rap and rock and the spaces in between you can find plenty of crap out there. But there is also plenty of space taken by artists that speak to the larger thinking masses and aren’t all about treating your woman like a sammich making dog, fat stacks of cash and poppin’ caps. Cata9tales bring some aggressive rap and rock tendencies, inject just the right amount of life-learned sensibilities and then turn the whole thing on its ear. The results are splendid!
A Chameleon’s Dream starts off with the rapid fire “Kaboombox”, an instantly likeable ear bug that will get the most hard-hearted goofball up and jumping about. Continuing on, “Open Letter To Generation Adderall” starts with a creepy Portishead-like intro and then jumps into pure spitting and frothing over top of a harsh and full on beat, reminding me a bit of Sage Francis or Swollen Members in their delivery. Quick witted, sharp, hard edged, humorous, and full of brilliantly placed samples, Cata9tales talk hard and move with the best of them. I can see why there is a sizable buzz surrounding their live show.
This is everything I love about some of the places hip-hop and rap have evolved in to. Anger and penance in all the right spots, fully wise and entertaining in all the rest. It’s not heavy rock and it’s not really hip-hop, in fact it’s not even fair to call them a healthy mix of the two. With slinky recognizable bass lines, movie dialogue samples that bring a smile to the face with their pop culture familiarity and a humorous but very acute lyrical approach, Cata9tales take their music to the next level. Indeed, my mind has most definitely been broadened.
~ Nathan Pike
Video for “Ghettotron”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nAP2eY-R56g&feature=youtu.be