Label: Robot Needs Home Records Release date: 19/10/09 Website: MySpace With a great EP, an amazingly epic album, a fantastic split with This Town Needs Guns and years of playing shows under their belt, Cats And Cats And Cats have consistently refined and perfected their hard-to-place mix of Post-Rock and Mathy Pop, but still never really taken off in the way they deserve to. Will Oh Boy! Parts 1 & 2 fix all this? I don’t know. Maybe. All the same old tricks are there: violin and trumpet echo over atmospheric and mathy guitars, accompanied by a shaky yet confident voice as the band pounds and crescendos all over the shop. But the opening track, ‘A Boy Called Haunts’ is slightly lacking, the first recording by the band that could be labelled ‘Cats By Numbers’, and with slicker production than on any of their previous releases, the track feels a little bit hollow. Fortunately, ‘The Boy With The Beak’ sees the Cats closer to form, with a clicky drum intro that is joined by a chorus of voices, a gorgeous jangling riff and, eventually, the rest of the band for a soaring high that fades away, before repeating the process again with more and more layers piled on top. At six minutes plus, there is more chance for the band to spread its wings than on ‘Haunts’, and the constant building and re-building means the song rolls along to it’s beautiful close in a wonderful fashion, although it is unfortunately by no means as impressive as their previous two releases. On the CD version of the single, there’s a Maybeshewill remix of ‘A Boy Called Haunts’ tacked on the end. Usually I’m not all that fond of this practice but the fuzzy, shoegazey trip-hop-esque style of this mix makes for a better version than the original, looping and manipulating the vocals and pairing them with a jittering fake drum beat. To be honest, it would make a much better standalone single than either of the two Cats tracks, and together the whole package is very pleasant indeed. Cats And Cats And Cats are capable of better, though, and I hope their next release sees them at the top of their game again. Rating: 6.5/10