Corduroy Cat is a band composed of Dan Doherty (guitar/vocals/piano), Marv Doolin (guitar/vocals), Bob Poole (bass) and Kalyan Pathak (drums/tabla/percussion). I was already rooting for them when I read about the band. They hail from the windy city which is where I happen to reside and also recorded their recent full length album entitled 10% Hopeful with the great Steve Albini.
The album contains nine songs which are rock and lean into Americana roots. It’s warm and aligns with a band like Wilco. They open with “Vivian” and of course the production and recording quality is superb. It sounds like a band in a room which isn’t all that common these days. I’m not sure if the song was recorded to tape but it’s warm and sounds like it. The song has a great groove and a chorus which was memorable. It’s the kind of hook that you can sing along to. I loved the opener and I was excited to hear the other songs.
On “When The Lilacs Bloom Again” the band leans into the Americana with the rolling drums, delicate guitars and comforting sense of familiarity. The vocals are expressive and dynamic. On top of that I loved the melodies. I appreciated the Chicago references on this song when the vocalist sings “Watch your grill on a windy night, / when you’ve been drinkin’ or lest you might / Fall asleep before, the lonesome night consumes you.”
The band got into rock mode on “Deception Pass” and it definitely has a ’70s classic rock type sound. I loved the fuzz which Albini captures here. The lower mids shine. Similar to the previous songs, the vocals are very strong.
“'Opioids(make me blue)” is next and starts with some cowbell, keys, drums, bass and guitar. It’s a little more introspective than some of the previous songs. There are some solid moments and I thought the vocals were very expressive.
I loved the horns and twinkling piano on “'Oumuamua (feat. Bruce Lamont)”. The additional percussion was also really well done. “Mary The Elephant” was slick between the vocal work and the smooth guitar patterns while “The Space In Between” goes further in exploring their Americana infused rock signature sound. One of my favorites was “500 Pelicans” and it also has some great lyrics. The vocalist sings, “People often wonder where the dinosaurs went when the asteroid hit not far from here. / Just watch 500 pelicans dive into the water and the answer seems very clear.” They close with a solid title track “10% Hopeful” where the band plays into their strengths with another memorable hook.
This is a great album. The band was able to create a flow that invites you to listen from beginning to end. I for one have become a fan.