The Cato Street Conspiracy: This Time Next Year
CD | DL
Maidstone’s Cato Street Conspiracy have something of a street punk feel, with a pair of boots firmly planted in the ’80s.
When it comes to picking a band name that “means something” Cato Street Conspiracy hit the jackpot. If you whack Cato Street Conspiracy into a search engine you’ll get countless links to the tale of a group of radicals who were arrested and hanged or transported to Australia after planning to assassinate the British Prime Minister and cabinet in 1820.
Despite the serious name, Cato Street Conspiracy appear to have quite a flippant piss take manner. They are straight up, no-frills punk. They have a touch of what these days is called street punk but used to be more commonly known as Oi! If you were to drop their songs into one of the recent Riot City or No Future compilation reissues they might sneak in under the radar. Even the lyrics fit that theme.
On this 5 track EP, they veer between two sounds with a pair of boots firmly planted in the 80s. Put together the urgent drums with the rawness of the guitar and the raw raspy vocal on songs like Repent and Carnage and there is a touch of early English Dogs around the time of the Mad Punx and English Dogs 12″. Not quite as high octane or raw but it gives you a sense of their direction of travel. The guitar also reminds me of Blitzkrieg for some reason. At other times they are more in the yobby singalong style of bands like The Ejected and plenty of Oi bands since, seemingly accentuated by clipped high hat and snare. This is especially evident when they deploy call and response choruses E.g. “Got no money…no job” on Got No Money and “Why Wont You….Listen to me” on Listen To Me.
While overall I prefer the more upbeat raw songs like Carnage and Repent, the more sedate sing song title track This Time Next Year is notable for a crisp catchy guitar line which evokes (for me) Shot By Both Sides by Magazine. Something the guitar tone, timing and slight bend of the strings fired the neurons in my brain and now I can’t rid of the bloody tune. Even their cultural references reveal something about the age of the band. For this song, they lift Delboy Trotter’s line from Only Fools and Horses for the chorus “Don’t worry son, this time next year we’ll be millionaires”. That’s certainly not the delusions of the label DIY Dammit records who released the EP.
Dammit records describe themselves as “a low-key record label from the southeast of the UK that wants to help struggling unsigned bands get their music recorded, published, promoted and sold. We’re not here to make loads of money, just promote good music, YOUR music.”
Available from Dammit records on Bandcamp
Cato Street Conspiracy are on Facebook
Poor comparisons articulated by Nathan Brown. Check out his Louder Than War Author Archive.