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Synth Album Review: "Kitty Hate Machine" by Cat Temper

Karl is a longtime freelancer who's passionate about music, art, and writing.


Initial Impressions

Cat Temper’s Kitty Hate Machine album has a raw edge as hard-hitting guitar mingles with 8-bit sounds and jagged synth. There’s a surging energy to the music along with a rocking sensibility and an eclecticism in the usage of synths that creates a unique sound.

One of the most appealing qualities of Kitty Hate Machine is the sheer energy of the music. It bursts with power and rushes along rapidly, flickering between different segments and charging forward with abandon. I felt myself moving along with the music unconsciously which is a good sign.

The guitar work on this album is aggressive, growling and full of sharp edges. It has a rocking strength to it that sometimes falls more on the punk side and at others more on the metal side. Jagged edges abound and add to the in your face nature of Kitty Hate Machine. I enjoy Cat Temper’s atmosphere building on the album.

I also am drawn to the use of 8-bit sounds on Kitty Hate Machine. The sheer computerized, nature of them makes for clear, sharp bursts of sound that slice through the grit and growl of the guitars and the wild madness of the synth sounds to accent and emphasize certain parts of the tracks.

Cat Temper has ranged far and wide in his use of different synth sounds on the album. There are so many tones, timbres and feelings to the synths that they might get jumbled, but Cat Temper avoids that by intertwining and interspersing them in ways that add shape and direction to the music.

My Favourite Tracks Analyzed

“The Meoward Spiral” kicks off with harsh, growling pulses of rough sound along with hollow percussion that cuts into the track in broken blocks. An oscillating pulse of sawtoothed synth swells below a round, distorted synth that carries a lost, twisting minor key pattern of notes into the music. The evolving, rapidly throbbing bass line and an aggressive slice of hard hitting synth move into the track.

My favourite part of this track is the surging drive of the electric guitar with its 8-bit sonic punctuation. The 8-bit sounds echo in between the lacerating guitar passages as a quick, hard hitting beat pushes the track. Edgy, sharp sounds move with the shifting 8 bit notes that wriggle above the power and aggression below them.

A slowly oscillating line of jagged, deep, hard hitting synth opens “Shed Like A Hole." The cutting edges of synth rise and fall over the thumping kick drum and crescendo as a high, twisting slash of sound cuts in. The line of writhing synth moves over the percussive sounds and wind sweeps through the track. I am drawn to the tension thrumming through the worried line of elevated 8 bit sound.

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The computerized sound moves in a melodic pattern over the throbbing, pumping beat and a harpsichord-like synth dances into the music. Broken, glitchy sounds move in before the climbing synth line ratchets the tension up more as bright, clear sounds cut over the interwoven synths and fade out.

“Pet You Like An Animal” comes to life with hard hitting, computerized sounding synth carrying a broken, angular pulse of notes. Big drums burst into a medium tempo beat while bouncing, medium low synth carries a robotic line of synth.

The synth line fills the track’s open spaces and echoes into them before its joined by a fuller, metallic synth with a cold shimmer. I am drawn to the hypnotic feeling that the punchy lead synth creates as it bounces in a repeating pattern. A quick oscillation of rapid synth rises and falls as a slicing synth harshly drives the relentless pattern of melodic notes.

Hard edged, pronounced electronic sounds are joined by a driving beat that has an open, sawtoothed feeling to start off “She’s Gone Astray.” The beat is smooth an d a moving bass line underpins airy, pipe-like synths. The hollow synths carry a wandering pattern that drifts through the music over that charging beat and computerized sounds.

The hard-hitting, robotic sounding pattern of notes is joined by a rounder line of sound that distorts as it floats. Cat Temper creates many ear-grabbing sonic layers in this track which I enjoy. A section with metallic 8-bit sounds repeats a bouncing pattern and bubbling sounds move below the repeating pattern. The beat presses on as the gritty growl of the lower sounds shift below a high, tight synth line.

“Purest Feline” comes into being with sweeping, glitching, skittering sounds and an energetic bass pulse moves rapidly while drums punch into the track with expanding, technological synth that swells and recedes. I am enamoured of the hard-hitting, rocking segment with guttural guitar and a driving beat that launches the track forward. A high synth with a smooth feeling sings out an energizing melody that leaps and dances above hollow, pounding drums.

The beat keeps throbbing while a chiming synth climbs in a minor key pattern, ringing out over bursts of synth that cut into the track. Slap bass adds an extra gnarly dimension to the music before breaking into a half time section. The twisting, leaping lead synth melody propels the music forward before it returns to the rocking, charging guitar with a sweeping synth around it.

Tense warning sounds cry out to open “Hesitation Marks” echoing as a lower and no less warning sound comes in along with a burbling, elevated synth that cries out in wobbling notes. A jagged, solid pounding of deep metallic synth meets a gritty wall of roaring guitar and glitches of computerized sound.

There’s a seething, fulminating feeling in the guitar work that I enjoy as it moves below the waves of full, medium-high synth. There’s a contrasting brightness with the rougher edges of the guitar. Before the track ends, there’s a battering segment of guitar that explodes and shreds over punching drums.


The raw energy, bursting exuberance and occasional ferocity of Kitty Hate Machine combine to produce music that I find entertaining and engaging. I enjoy the different stylistic direction that Cat Temper has taken on the album.

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