If Anything Happens to the Cat – If Anything happens to the Cat EP – 84%

If Anything Happens To The Cat [EP] cover art

If Anything Happens to the Cat is a 4-piece from Gent, Belgium whose talents combine to create beautiful ambient post-rock that is beautifully bleak at times and relaxing at others. Although they’ve been playing shows since May of 2011 this EP is their debut release.

The 5-track 31 minute EP begins with the slow-paced styling of “Jessamine” which features both cute samples of a little girl talking on the phone and also elegant violin work. The final two minutes of this track when it takes a heavy turn shine in all it’s shoegaze glory. Layers of Distortion guitars intertwine with clean guitars creating a powerful yet moody feel. The album makes a smooth transition to “Mao’s Secret Palace” where clean guitar tones really start to shine. When the static-laced guitars take front and center stage they go absolutely insane with some absolutely great crescendo-based riffs. The vocals in this track fit right in with the mood and tempo.

Clocking in at eight and a half minutes, “St.Cecilia” slowly builds as keyboards sparkle about the track. Harmonic and Stellar vocals on this track instantly draw comparisons to the likes of Gregor Samsa. Heavier guitars are once again as good as they can without feeling forced or overly aggressive in comparison to the pacing. Drums do a fantastic job really driving the tracks on the EP. “The Gentle Art of Saying No” feels like a short reprise of the previous track. Rarely do I find myself enjoying vocals in post-rock releases and I feel like IAHTTC really nailed it with just the right amount on this EP. The EP finishes with “Eyes Closed, Stay Quiet”, a track that falls right in line with what we’ve come to expect on this EP. The band’s tried and true method of slow starts and strong finishes becomes somewhat a repetitive formula, but hey, it works. The vocals in this track fall short of the mark compared to other vocals on the EP. The beautiful piano work more than makes up for it though.

This is a promising start for the young Belgian band. They showcase a lot of different sounds and have no problem combining slower and spacious post-rock with a deep shoegaze sound. In fact, all of their heavier stuff sounds far more shoegaze than post-rock, resulting in a unique sound that in my opinion really defines the band. 9-6-12

Pay what you want on Bandcamp: http://iahttc.bandcamp.com/