Preston, UK-based The Purple Hat Mob is a band led by 18-year-old David, in conjunction with his brother Stu. David handles vocals, keyboards, songwriting and recording; Stu kicks in guitar work. Catfish Stew is their latest release, on which they show their synth-pop and electronica influences.
The three-track EP kicks off with “I’m a Kind Man” which functions as a short introduction to the other tracks. It starts with old-school LP pops and a panning female vocal (which repeats the song’s title, and only lyric). Synths work in and out, giving us a good idea of where The Purple Hat Mob is going to take us.
The title track “Catfish Stew” is up next. It grabs you right away, as it’s driven forward by keyboards and an incessant, simple beat. The band introduces a riff (which is used as a touchpoint throughout the song), and then lay in some nice counterpoints, first with guitar, and then synth. David delivers the verse in a spoken-word format, before ceding the chorus to guest vocalist Loren’s silky vocals. The post-chorus and outro guitar solos are just right, putting a fine finish on a tasty three minutes of danceable fun.
“Danny’s Leaving With That Hot Girl Again” rounds out the set. The sound is similar to “Catfish Stew.” The song is pushed by a simple, driving beat with keyboards layered over distorted guitar. If Billy Idol used a drum machine, turned Steve Stevens down in the mix and hired Gillian Gilbert, you might get something like this. The middle instrumental section offers some nice keyboard sounds and theme development.
And just like that, they’re gone. Three songs, short and sweet. Dial them up and enjoy.
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