Synth Album Review: "Feralyzed" by Cat Temper
Cat Temper (Mike Langlie) has always taken a unique approach to synth-based music and Feralyzed is no different. His combination of different, unique beats and his ability to create some interesting sounds from his synths make for a fun and entertaining musical experience. He also has some of the best pun-based titles going in his music with all of his cat puns!
One of the first things that I noticed with Feralyzed was the wide ranging synth tones that were employed by Mike Langlie. There are tones that are more metallic, some that have a gruff edge to them and others that are much warmer and smoother. The way in which all of these tones are combined creates a fresh listening experience that keeps the ears engaged.
I also enjoyed the way in which Mike Langlie included electric guitar in his music. There’s a real growl and aggression from that guitar which adds strength and character to the sound of Feralyzed when he uses the guitar. It serves to provide a sharp, powerful throb to the tracks that gives them strong support as it growls through the tracks.
Another element of Feralyzed that I found compelling is the inclusion of chip sounds. Those digital sounds add interest and a technological edge to the tracks that only increased their interest factor for me. I’m a fan of chiptune music though so it really doesn’t surprise me that I was drawn to the sounds that have been included here.
The production of Feralyzed is excellent. It has sharpness, definition and clarity in all of the sounds on the track. I didn’t find anything too muddy or imbalanced in the music and all of the elements were given enough space to have distinct sounds while still managing to mesh into a full tapestry of sound.
Now it comes time for me to break down the tracks on the album that I found most enjoyable and discuss the elements of those tracks that appealed to me and why they did so.
There’s a catchy bassline that starts off “Ace of Spays” before being joined by claps and driving drums. Over the top of the drums and bass, glitchy synths and a growling guitar kick in. The guitar melody is full of energy and a little bit of tension as well. There are lighter, more airy sounds that drift through the other segments of the track as well as the guitar that calls out the melody. I was a fan of the ways in which all of these parts interlocked to form a cohesive whole.
“Big Kitty Nights” begins with another techy synth playing a repeating melody line before the drums kick in along with a pounding bassline. There’s a sly, devious-sounding lead synth pattern along with extended, descending washes of synth sound. The beat has a quick tempo and a nice pulse to it along with those extended technological sounding synths that draw out over the top. Again there was something interesting about how the different elements of this track interacted to produce a full, interesting sound.
The tight, snaky, high synth lead caught my attention on “Bad Catitude” along with the grunting electric guitar, dark weighty bass and an aggressive attack on the drums. The gritty pulses of electric guitar go along with that heavy bass and there’s drifting synth sounds that flow through the track. As a wandering and twisting synth pattern moves into the track, it contrasts nicely with the angular edges of the electric guitar sound.
“Scratch Me When I Fall” is a track that moves from a more aggressive, heavy first section into something with more melodic elements in it. The melody is dancing and bouncing as it leaps out over the growling bass. The way in which the chiptune elements are used in this track helps accent the other parts of the music. I am a fan of the rough-edged bass that appears throughout the music on Feralyzed.
There’s another complex combination of sounds and musical textures on “Should I Stray or Should I Go.” The track starts on swelling bass that shudders through the track along with tense, slow moving chip notes. The beat is strong and the electric guitar continues to slice into the track. There’s also a triumphant synth melody that calls out through the track, feeling as warm and uplifting as analog synth can. All of these disparate musical elements are nicely brought together by Mike Langlie on this track.
There are a lot of unique and interesting qualities about Feralyzed. As I said to kick the review off, I have long enjoyed Mike Langlie's sound and he has refined it nicely on this album. It is definitely one of the more unique explorations of synth sounds out there right now.