Thundersnow b/w Rhinelander
Welcome to the world of Cougar. This, the first single from their second album (and their first for Counter), shows what the quintet from Madison, Wisconsin are all about. From the very first bar of "Thundersnow" you know you're dealing with a band that can hit hard, channelling the spirit of both Fugazi and Four Tet into proper rock-god wig out - muscular riffing, machine gun drumming and a feel for melody which raises this beyond any hint of bombast. "Rhinelander," on the other hand, shows another side of the Cougar experience. Running choral loveliness up against the tight interplay of bass and guitar (and more stellar drum work from David Henzie-Skogen) the whole is achingly melancholy and quite beautiful - the kind of music DJ Shadow might make if he got bored of doing everything on a sampler and formed a guitar combo. Cougar's reputation in the States is in the ascendancy - they have toured with the likes of Maximo Park and U.N.K.L.E and worked with John McEntire of Tortoise. With their second album, "Patriot," it's set to go stellar. Listen. Available to download from the Ninjashop and iTunes now.