Jim Santo's Demo Universe

Triple Fast Action - Cattlemen Don't

John Szuch at Deep Elm scores again by signing these melodic, inventive Chicago rockers, whose debut, Broadcaster, was fumbled by Capitol Records (surprise). Revolving around the complicated but catchy songs of vocalist/guitarist Wes Kidd, TFA displays uncommon dynamism and harmonic sophistication, all the while remembering to kick butt when its called for. Kidd's a charismatic singer, capable of great sweetness and formidable raunch, often in the same tune ("The Rescue" being a prime example). Songs like "Pure," "If" and "Eurogirl" hold out hope for the future of intelligent indie-rock. Produced by John Agnello (Jawbox, Chavez, Camber, Dino Jr., Walt Mink), Cattlemen Don't should make Szuch a rich man. (Which of course means I'll have to stop reviewing Deep Elm releases, but maybe then he'll sign my band, har-har.)

CD received October 31, 1997