Don't fix something if it isn't broken. But if you can make it even better, why not fiddle with it? This daft change on that old homespun knowledge is how I could sum up Cats:for:Peru's latest EP, We Had This Problem Last Winter.

An evolution/continuation from their previous album, Attack of the Pitching Machine, this new EP lowers the guitar contribution (but not disregarding it entirely) and introduces a lot more keyboard, which adds a lot to the mix, especially when Cats:for:Peru drop in their dancey sensibility they like to indulge in. Quite deftly too.

'Open House', the very upbeat and a rightful choice for an opening track, jumps seamlessly from pop, rock and dance rock to a very synth heavy ending. 'Duck in the oven', a track with great drumming, is relentless in pace and a perfect follow-up. It never lets you go and the bubbly arpeggiator and the thumping bass are just cherries on top.

Whereas the first half of We Had This Problem Last Winter is extremely upbeat and easy on the foot-tapping crowd, the second half is more sombre. Stark is the name of the game and both 'Sleeping in tightropes' and 'Fear of better things' start in a slightly similar way: a droning instrument and Adam Follet's voice. But that's where similarities end.

'Sleeping in tightropes' is a song inspired by the film Man on a wire and it's sad, solemn and a very sobering moment in the EP. It never bores, but it does bring a lot of melancholy, letting it all soak and then sink in. It builds up to an explosive ending that soon crashes away, letting the whispering winds take away the last stark moments.

'Fear of better things' doesn't help cheering you up, but hey, that's life, right? "Pushing squares pegs / into round holes" is a very funny line (in a gallows' humour sort of way) and it's this kind of lyrical moments that makes this song memorable, with added chorus, strings and glockenspiel. The song is beautiful, sporting the way-too-true lyric "With explosions come apologies / it's how we make amends", probably my argument to say that lyrics-wise, this is the best song in the EP.

Singer Adam Follet's voice gets a good workout in the EP, changing tones at ease ('Duck in oven'), sounding slightly aggressive and then showing a great vulnerability (the haunting intro to 'Sleeping in tightropes'). It wouldn't be fair to single him out, as the rest of the band also do an excellent job and deliver a cracking four track EP of a musical style that defies categorization. I can heartily recommend.

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