Reviews

rip it up
Aug/Sept 2011

Known Associates Penny Love

Classic cock rock at its finest – meaty riffs and guitars, strong vocals and an overall grunty sound and feel that’s captured well.
In song style I’m reminded a bit of the rocking end of Oasis, but energy wise its packing a weightier punch than the whole Gallagher family together could muster. Nick Cave’s new band Grinderman is probably a more fitting comparison.
There are a couple of lighter numbers , but the dirty rock tunes are the records strength. These guys sound like a kick-arse live combo, so check out the album and live show if you get the chance.

Music.net.nz
05 Jul 2011 // A review by JohnS

It’s hard not to pick an album and judge the music inside by its cover.
My first impression was of a bunch of guys having drinks at someone’s house and a jam session. Fortunately I gave them a good go and the cover suits the music they play, rock with a blues guitar edginess ,that makes you sit up and say “Oh, yeah!”

Fronted by the well known Warren Cate, who supplies a vocal edge that gives you that deep blues tone driving it into your core and it really comes out in the second track, ‘Mercy’ and the following track ‘Wishbone City’. Also giving you the grunt is guitarist Grant Wills thundering powerful tightly sparked solos as well as keeping the rhythm with bass player Andrew Buckton and Mike Franklin-Browne.

The album reflects how New Zealander’s like to mix it up with reflections of 70’s and 80’s rock being run through your speakers. Anything from a Budgie to Motley Crüe could be referenced when describing the group.

If you like that classic sounding Rock/Blues sound then you wont be disappointed with this album. Give it a chance, I did and I liked it.

“the sampler” RadioNZ – June 2011

Well ……. we got ourselves onto Nick Bollingers weekly music show ” the sampler ” on RadioNZ .
Fair to say we got ourselves a damn fine review too . Check this out :

Known Associates: Penny Love (Warcat)

Graham Reid – www.elsewhere.co.nz – June 2011

Auckland singer/writer/guitarist Warren Cate of Known Associates has made some fine and deliberately unpolished rock albums under his own name in the past but here, with a team of equals who hunkered down for weekly sessions last year to toughen themselves up and work out material, he excels himself.

Cate always possessed a slightly dangerous edge in his vocals but here he sounds angry and desperate and is singing like his life depended on it (Mercy with its “eye for an eye” sentiment, Wishbone City). With guitarist Grant Wills adding electrifying, tight and powerhouse solos and an adrenalin-fueled rhythm section (Mike Franklin-Browne on drums, longtime bassist Andrew Buckton back again), this one flies out of the speakers like the missing link between the best material off the Stones’ It’s Only Rock’n’Roll (What It’s All About) and the pub rock energy of Dr Feelgood’s Stupidity (Made of Blue).

They barely pause for a breath — there’s a real slew into Seventies rock on Tell Me It’s Alright — and it isn’t until five songs in (the dreamy Show Me where Cate still keeps that sneering edge) that the pace slows.

Almost out of earshot on Waning Moon you can catch a whiff of Hendrix’s Spanish Castle Magic, Dark Sword throbs with metal menace (a little bit cliched but convincingly impassioned) and Hand of God finds them at their most evocative, Doors-like and trippy.

Not much here breaks the 3.45 minute mark so nothing outstays its welcome and you don’t doubt this band live would be a hazard to sensitive souls . . . and Cate’s restrained fury would put on notice those half his age.

THE REPARATION TAPES

Graham Reid – www.elsewhere.co.nz – Oct 09

Cate is what we might call an “occasional” rock’n’roll singer-songwriter: this is only his fourth album in about 14 years. He has a day job.

I recognise on his website some highly favourable comments  from me down the years, and his music has always found a place on my Sunday afternoon Kiwi FM show. This album will too.

Cate has real feel for a power-pop into alt.country song, usually driven by staggeringly powerful guitar work, although this time he really lets Grant Wills peel off some bluesy licks in a few places.

Cate also has a nice feel for a country-rock tune and if he gets on a “silver steed” here then we can still forgive him. What I’ve also always liked is that he doesn’t necessarily write closed verse-chorus verse-chorus songs, some he lets just thread out in their own natural direction or sit on a riff for their own sake.

This one has enormous firepower (Our Little Secret, Say What You Will, This Kinda Luv) and he understands how an echoed vocal can add depth and dimension.

This time out he seems more blues, power-rock country influenced, and he can nail you to a wall. Got heart too: the tense, Dylan-on-meth Thank U Brother/Sister/Father/Mother says it all.

I just wish he’d do it more often.

Still, if you are getting it right, why rush into things?

Added: 18 Oct 09

LOUD & CLEAR

” Cate covers a lot of territory , emotional and soundwise and again confirms he is a real unacknowledged talent with an impressive body of work behind him .

He deals with the big stuff and writes in a tightly evocative and often imagistic lyric , wrapped round a memorable slash of melody . It brings to mind Matthew Sweets brooding pop/rock , the best of the Dunedin guitar bands and those yearning post rock songwriters out of Austin ”

Graham Reid , NZ Herald , Jun 2000

ALL DRESSED UP

” Well thought out guitar based melodies flow easily between lively pop , acoustic ballads and thrashy seductive metal. The songs are concise and compact, well structured and texturally dense with intelligent lyrical comment ….. a voice that ambles between Lou Reed narrative , hints of Dylan and a surgary Lennon style softness. Cate deserves greater recognition for his talents . ”

Lava , Sept 1998

” From the huge chiming pop chords of the title track opener , Aucklander Cate , again states a strong claim ….. with a firm grip on what makes a memorable tune , classic chord changes , dynamic shifts from verse to chorus , blistering guitar . Its been on high rotate round the house and grows in stature with every play ”

Graham Reid , NZ Herald , Aug 1998

TALE TO TELL

” Sounding by turns like a country Bob Dylan , then our own David Kilgour , this is genuine heart stopping balladry. If you need something to sing along too , at the top of your lungs while driving long distance this summer , then this is it ”

The Strip , Dec 1996