While it’s not exactly clear whether this Oklahoma City quartet is hopelessly self-aware or merely revels in modest drollery, what is clear is that AlphaCat sounds nothing like you’d expect — which is to say, it’s actually pretty damn good.
Clocking in at just under 11 minutes, it consists of only three tracks: “Best Catt,” “Alphabitz” and “Grandpa Song.” Given these circumstances, hitting “play” for the first time is likely to induce the same kind of inner turmoil that, say, scheduling a colonoscopy might. But whatever anxiety you might have experienced is quelled almost immediately through dueling, reverb-soaked guitars and a steadily off-kilter rhythm section.
Opting for instrumentation and melody over vocals, the math-rock band smartly omits any sort of lyrical depiction — which, given its affinity for the facetious, ultimately might have become a painstaking distraction. Instead, the guys display their wit through intelligent arrangements and cleverly placed tempo changes.
It’d have been easy for instrumentals like these to devolve into dull, self-congratulatory jam sessions, but all three songs are purposeful and concise, eliciting just the right amount of aural stimulation to maintain a firm grasp on your interest. So much so that, with a little more refinement, The Hitt Boyz potentially could shed some of the sillier fur to become something even more meaningful. —Zach Hale