Wildcat! Wildcat! shot into the spotlight in early 2012 when the unexpected indie hit, Mr. Quiche, melted faces all across the blog-o-sphere. After so much crazy hype, they did what no band would do in their right mind and went M.I.A. Aside from a single or two in between (that were both nothing to yarn on about), two years later they’re out with a full length debut. Released on August 5th, No Moon At All is a collection of wispy dream-sequences, reaching out towards the essence of that first hit, and with the faint sense that there’s something catchy close by.
Starting with the enigmatic Tower // W.O.H.L, it feels like the sort of album that needs to be appreciated in context. Sitting quietly, listening on a drizzly Sunday night it quickly becomes the perfect companion – pattering along at a hollow pace, coming off a little bit dark and a little bit hopeful. When the expected single Garden Grays follows it’s building up to be the soundtrack to a dream sequence, carried on by unique keys and shallow vocals. Though at this point, much like a dream, it’s feeling a little incomplete.
As I said, this album needs to be listened to in the right context. Although there’s a very enjoyable theme throughout, it’s the kind of album that runs through in your playlist while you’re doing something else, and by the time it morphs into another album you haven’t even realised it’s been playing. And with that, I might as well skip to the standout tracks.
Up & Beyond is clearly the first track to stand out in any real way on No Moon At All. The vocals are bolder and more distinct, and it presents with more solidarity. It’s catchy too. With the lyrics, “Come on, we are going up and beyond”, it grinds with confidence, feeling like the boys knew exactly where the album would reach it’s height. Perhaps not so though, with the track Circuit Breaker featuring later in the album as an unlikely highlight. This one is pretty cool actually and something I believe would properly translate amazing live. These two tracks are where it’s at on No Moon At All. Unfortunately that’s where it ends.
I’d hate to completely write off the album though, it’s actually a really good listen, just not all it could be. For that reason, I’m going to deduct points but still leave them with a mark of something that is worth going out and grabbing from the record store based on the fact that it’s going to be handy when you feel like staying in on a damp Sunday night.