Katz – The Last American Virgin (EP Review)

KATZ pay tribute to the silver screen on movie inspired EP ‘The Last American Virgin’, an encapsulating cinematic feeling record that carries garage rock, surf and pop punk influences through out. An EP filled with energetic riffs and exciting ideas, KATZ have written the perfect soundtrack to a movie that doesn’t exist.

Manchester garage rock three piece Katz have managed to make an EP that’s stripped back and raw whilst still being one of the most cinematic records so far this year. ‘The Last American Virgin’ is any music supervisors dream, perfect for soundtracking an american coming of age indie comedy, I can see the skateboards, red solo cups and vintage cars now. But it’s no, accident the record takes it’s influence from a whole host of cinematic works, at times telling stories from the view point of some of Hollywood’s most iconic characters. Musically it incorporates surf rock elements with lo-fi recording techniques perfectly, the rolling snare intro and chugging guitar at the opener ‘Lady Bird’ build to an energetic excitement draped in teenage angst, personifying the film it takes it’s name from. Back to the Future inspired ‘1985’ is driven forward by a drum machine beat that almost mimics the sounds of an old projector and reserved melodic vocal line coming from the view point of the body warmer cladded movie icon Marty McFly. delicate guitar licks and hushed woo’s below lyrics like, “Doc just built a time machine, Now I’m stuck in the ’50s, Ran into my mum and dad, I’m the one they never had” add a cinematic depth to the familiar narrative. ‘Fast Times’ takes a more direct and energetic approach with the the fast paced riffs and hard hitting drums really typify that Ridgemont High energy, while slipping into ‘American Girl‘ territory for a brief moment before ‘Dead is Better‘ kicks in , an ode to Stephen King’s ‘Pet Cemetery’ it’s high paced power chords and distorted vocals incorporate raw pop punk elements along with american garage rock style. If you’re streaming this EP the journey ends with the stand out title track ‘The Last American Virgin’, inspired by the 80’s teen melodrama of the same name, a melodic show case of many of the ideas the records hast exhibited before, with surf rock influences, ringing chords and a slick surf style drum groove. The extra bonus track for owners of the cassette copy are treated to the bonus track ‘Monica from Friends‘, a bouncy, fun surf pop anthem with a driving chorus and catchy melodies.

‘The Last American Virgin’ does everything it set out to do, write beautiful short love letters to the big screen and create the same kind of encapsulating escapism as the movies they so flatteringly mimic. For me this record isn’t only a record of big riffs and gorgeous melody, it’s a heart felt, well crafted, soundtrack to someones love cinema. Katz have done a great job on this record, it’s vintage style is matched by it’s laid back, cool energy, you can stream ‘The Last American Virgin’ below via Bandcamp where you can also grab the cassette that features the bonus track.

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