Cat Temper is a Synthwave project by producer Mike Langlie from Boston, Massachusetts (GO BRUINS!!!). He’s been involved with various music scenes over the years ranging from the gothic and heavy, to the strange and unusual. His most well-known project, Twink the Toy Piano Band features music that uses toy instruments to create soundtracks for a cartoon from another more—pink dimension. Anyway, Langlie’s muse has changed over the last few years. His focus has shifted from a project who’s main aesthetic featured a cute bunny rabbit to darker project featuring the often domesticated apex predator—cats.

Cat Temper’s latest album “Feralyzed” returns with a solid tracklist of catchy, aptly titled cat tunes such as “Ace of Spays,” “Big Kitty Nights,” and “Careless Whisker.” Featuring the visual stylings by the wonderful Quinnzel Kills, the cover features a cat-woman with a perm amidst a neon-infused color scheme that comes straight out of the 1980s.

“Feralyzed” is entirely instrumental, and while it has a slight synthwave flavor to it, I feel that it can also exist on it’s own two legs without pinning it down to one genre of electronic music. “Feralyzed” is like listening to music that would be in an 80s action movie, rather than something you would hear at the end of “The Breakfast Club.” This idea really shines through in “Ace of Spays” balancing a breathy high end with banging drums and a distinctive heavy bass tone that just yells Amir Shervan and Alan DerMarderosian. At times the album is upbeat and whimsical in an Oingo Boingo sort of way (”Baskitt Case” serves as a good example) but for the most part “Feralyzed” is oddly harsh, dark, and heavy. There are spacey driven textures in songs like “Careless Whisker,” “The Unfurgiven,” and “Bad Cattitude.” There are also quite a few ties to traditional EDM rhythms that stand out in tracks like “When Puss Comes to Shove.” It’s pretty clear to me that Langlie is on the precipice of evolving Cat Temper’s sound. Into what exactly, I’m not entirely sure. But if it sounds anything like the tone he was going for with “The Unfurgiven” it’ll be interesting to see where he takes it. Overall, “Feralyzed” is a logical continuation to Cat Temper’s “Something Whiskered this Way Comes” (2019). I’ve spun it a dozen times since its release. My cats really seem to like it too.

RECOMMENDED FOR: Synth-warriors of all makes and models and their fuzzy feline companions.

Stand-out tracks: “The Unfurgiven,” “Baskitt Case” (aka the best track on the album), “Ace of Spays,” “Bad Cattitude,” and “Careless Whisker”

Album Color Profile: #6C3483

You can find all things Cat Temper at https://cattemper.bandcamp.com/


“Negative Space” by Burial Grid is a collaboration with horror novelist B.R. Yeagar and New England producer Adam Michael Kozak. The album serves as the soundtrack to Yeagar’s novel also entitled “Negative Space.” The book focuses on a synthetic hallucinogen called WHORL. As WHORL begins to take over the lives of the four main characters, they come into contact with four “string-shaped” ghosts. The ghosts apparently teach the characters of the novel a lot of crazy shit.

“Negative Space” makes “Requiem for a Dream” and “John Dies at the End” look like episodes of Paw Patrol. Remember kids—drugs are bad, m’kay? WHORL will distort your reality, cause you to see ghosts, and turn you into a masturbating degenerate on collision course with ruin. Death magick might sound fun at first, but when rags start having faces remember that you were warned.

What Burial Grid has chosen to do with “Negative Space” isn’t so much musical, but rather a sonic translation of indescribable, otherworldly hate and animus. This creates a landscape that paves a road to somewhere so horrifying that words alone can’t accurately describe what’s going on here. This album is beautifully grotesque, experimental, and cold-blooded. With “Negative Space,” Burial Grid taps into the unsettling ugliness that exists within all of us. It is a violation of senses, and a masterpiece—on a colossal scale.

Burial Grid strays away from traditional songwriting and instead focuses on exploration over structure. Rhythm-wise, “Negative Space” is almost completely devoid of any proper percussion. Although it is effectively used in “The Rope Man,” which sounds like the ending theme to a really fucked up movie. In general, I really don’t have anything to compare “Negative Space” to. It’s like listening to a mix of Akira Yamaoka’s work on Silent Hill 3 and Stalaggh’s “Projekt Nihil.”

“Negative Space” is note-worthy and deserves attention. This is album of the year quality work here folks. Seriously, run, don’t walk towards picking up this release.

RECOMMENDED FOR: People who love horror. It’s truly one of the best horror-oriented soundtracks ever. I’m probably dreaming, but I hope “Negative Space” gets a movie.

Stand-out tracks: Let’s be real—everything stands out, but “The Rags Had a Face” was my personal favorite, followed by “The Woman Buried Beneath the Candle,” “A Poltergeist Drug,” and “The Rope Man.”

Album Color Profile: #7B241C