Conceived in Madison, Wisconsin, Cougar's instrumental arrangements fall somewhere between Four Tet, Fugazi, and Nick Drake's guitar work, albeit sounding optimistic as opposed to morose. The band's singular sound is rooted in a keen sensibility of form and texture, more in line with sample-based music and modern classical than indie rock - which isn't to say this is rock-as-academia - Cougar also invoke the roaring riff monster, the fist-in-the-air, anthemic head-banger to which so many groups give only an ironic nod.
Extensive touring supported the group's debut album, 'Law' (mixed with John McEntire of Tortoise), which made numerous 'Best of 2007' lists in the USA. Live dates in the States and abroad included stints with U.N.K.L.E., Maximo Park, Art Brut and more.
Cougar's second album, 'Patriot', is an aggressive, narrative affair that sees the band reach even greater extremes than on 'Law'. The epic, sparkling counterpoint of the first record crops up, but 'Patriot' firmly establishes itself as a different music, shredding the lines between electronics and rock, never forgetting to pay allegiance to the hook. If an album of new music raises the question, "What kind of band IS this?" then perhaps the artist is doing their job. Urgent, captivating and strangely moving: emergency rock.
- David Henzie-Skogen - Drums, Beats, Percussions
- Todd Hill - Basses (upright and electric)
- Trent Johnson - Guitars (electric and acoustic)
- Aaron Sleator - Synths, Laptop, Guitar (electric)
- Dan Venne - Guitars (electric, classical, live sound)