"If you only tuned in to this Melbourne songwriter for his bruised, heart-on-sleeve 2013 solo set, Closing Time At Yah Yah’s, you had better hang onto your hat. Out go the acoustic guitar and self-analysis, in comes soaring guitars, banks of harmonies and rocking, up-beat treats. Those who have kept their eye on Batterham since his ’90s band, The Earthmen, will be delighted to hear him with electric guitar plugged in with a set of tunes bristling with energy.
If Closing Time at Yah Yah’s was kicking over the embers of a failed relationship at 3am on a Sunday morning, Lucky Cat is hitting the town on Friday night with a weekend of fun ahead.
Lonely Boys of Brunswick is bright, uplifting, with daffy orchestral samples emphasising the sense of fun which seems to be the prime influence at work here.
The title tune is equally heartwarming, with cheery use synthesisers and robo-rhythms from the drum machine as Batterham observes, “Eight of your lives are through.’’ But not in an unhappy way.
Lights Go Out also burbles along with a bass groove which suggests Batterham has spent as much time shaking a hip to Prince as he has soaking up those Beatles, Beach Boys and Byrds records which are usually the starting point for this type of songwriting. It is also catchy as hell, and begs the question if MGMT can hit the mainstream radar, why can’t something as good as this?
Bridesmaid Blues plays more like one of the philosophical tracks from Closing Time — “Pain in the words we’re saying, all of the fears we’re facing’’ _ but also explodes into the kind of melodic bliss bomb of which Neil Finn is a master.
But it’s the bouncy pop-rock tracks which are the foundation here, the soaring-into-the-sun feel of Get Away With It This Time, the massed guitars of Fighter, the swooning melody and gritty guitars of Liar or the sweet pop refrain of What Are You Waiting For.
The track you must hear first is Make It Through This Long, another beauty to add to your play-in-the-car selection of Australian power pop alongside your faves from the Sunnyboys, Stems, Even, You Am I, Icrecream Hands, Someloves, Ups and Downs, Hoodoo Gurus etc.
Two albums, very different, equally good, released six months apart: Batterham’s on fire!" 4 Stars
- Noel Mengel - Courier Mail April 2014
Lucky Cat is Nick's third solo album in four years. It comes hot on the heels of his sophomore release, Closing Time At Yah Yah's, and it couldn’t be more different. Departing from the familiar dark, folk tones he has become known for, Lucky Cat sparkles with jangle and power pop gems, which were a trademark of his 1990’s band, The Earthmen.
Lucky Cat is upbeat and bright whilst preserving Nick's characteristic dark humour and acidic observations.
“Curvy girls on High Street swear
Knitting bombs on the bike racks
Where the boys pass them by
To craft is to slowly die” - Lonely Boys Of Brunswick
The production is lush and dense. Cascading guitars with charging drums and loopy bass. Layers of vocal harmonies adorn each song like snow on a mountain of rock.
Lucky Cat came about because of the forthcoming release of a retrospective of Nick’s 90’s guitar-pop band, The Earthmen. “I listened to all the old demos of unreleased songs I wrote for the band. I found a few that I thought were worth revisiting, so I recorded them. Along with the more recent up-tempo tracks that didn’t fit the mood of my two recent solo albums, I suddenly had a record.”
The album was recorded and mixed by Nick in his own studio with musical contributions by chums from The Earthmen and Cordrazine.
"No fanfare, just worn out by degrees
Pray a knight will come and sweep you off your knees
Keep moving, don't believe the worst is true
Eight of your lives are through" - Lucky Cat
released January 3, 2014
Written and recorded by Nick Batterham.
Guest performers:- Craig Mitchell, Nick Murray, Jethro Woodward, Hamish Cowan, Andrew Batterham, Carlo Barbaro.
Mastered by Adam Dempsey at Deluxe Mastering