All Thatched Roof Glass House cover artwork by Sean Nixon
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Guess for this page we'll go in chronological order - If a Magazine or Blog title is underlined, it links directly to the publication
HUB PAGES - August 29, 2019
Alpha Cat Returns: Thatched Roof Glass House By Gali Brock
Alpha Cat is a project that comes from the troubled artistic world of Elizabeth McCullough. McCullough is a photographer from the East Side of New York City, (note mine: actually not) who evolved her artistic vision into music. Obviously, the songs once examined reveal the depth of how deeply her art is affected by her psyche. On her latest release, "Thatched Roof Glass House" (distributed on the Aquamarine label), there is a constant barrage of contradictory images that leaves the listener uneasy, but still musically satisfied. She builds these constructs well. Guided by the able hands of working NYC music stalwarts, this is a rich complex and vibrant record, as evidenced by one of the highlights for me, the titular track, Thatched Roof Glass House. She laments “I didn’t want to write a song about you, I felt that somehow you were fundamentally different”. It captures the quandary of any songwriter perfectly and sums up the leap of faith any writer has to make to get their feelings worked out in the wider world. This song is a cathartic experience for the A. Cat, done over a bouncing beat and new wave folk guitar lines. The emphasis of that fact comes with the sound of breaking glass at the end of the track. It is literally the sound of an artist breaking free of their own confines. Whether that metamorphosis that is represented by possessions or freedom is up to the listener to decide.
Another track, Black Hole, is an additional glimpse into the subtleties of inner disorientation. There are some fairly bleak images being poured out here, with redemption being provided with the lyrics like “…getting your feet wet can’t be all that bad…” Trying to wrestle the best out of other people is clearly an exhaustive process for Alpha Cat and she does her best to tell the story from her perspective. The sound washes over the listener and the overall production by the four listed producers/engineers on the album: Fred Smith, Jason Harrison Smith, Jon Mattox and Elizabeth McCullough, really allows the songs here to come to life. Ironically, the tunes here are also an aural example of an artist coming back to life on some level as well. After a bout with depression Alpha Cat wrestled her demons and turned them into art. That is why the songs and music and production dovetail so nicely into allowing the music to have the impact that it does. Hopefully, radio and press people should like this one as much as I do.
HOT INDIE NEWS - Indie Resource for Movies, Music, Politics and more - August 18, 2019
Taking a break from the music scene for more than ten years Alpha Cat has returned with an album that could reignite her career. Thatched Roof Glass House (Aquamarine Records) is the title of Alpha Cat’s newly minted release, and from the first song to the very last it’s full of some unexpected but pleasant surprises. Bordering between the genres of Adult Album Alternative and Alternative Rock music the seven songs that comprise this compilation are cunning, clever, and at times, cutting.
Opening the Thatched Roof Glass House set is Mockingbird. Beginning with several seconds of utter silence before any voices or instruments are heard helps create a tension that is only resolved when a lilting electric guitar riff emerges in the brief introductory section to the verses and choruses which will follow. Alpha Cat, whose real name is Elizabeth McCullough, has a voice that’s a cross between Joni Mitchell and Amy Winehouse. It’s unquestionably feminine on the surface, but with an underlying acerbic quality that is highlighted by the way that McCullough phrases her lyrics. The arrangement is steeped in richly layered self-harmonies that help create a textured backing for her lead vocals here.
The next track, Black Hole, heads into some seriously dark territory. The opening verse proclaims, “I’ve fallen into a black hole / looked like your heart / felt like my soul / now I’ve got nowhere to go / from this side out looks like the end of the world.” Referring to the information provided in Alpha Cat’s press kit this tune is clearly and unquestionably autobiographical. While working in 2006 on a yet-to-be released album that was to be called "Venus Smile," McCullough fell into her very own real life black hole. After losing her voice she suffered a damaging emotional and psychological breakdown. Forced to place the unreleased LP on hold while she endured hospitalizations and engaged in various conventional and experimental treatments, including electro-convulsive shock treatment, it wasn’t until 2013 she gained partial relief that was still accompanied by extreme anxiety and fear. To cope with this stress she began to self medicate with alcohol. This only exacerbated the underlying problems plaguing her.
McCullough explained that when she wrote Black Hole she’d recently read how astronomers had theorized that one could possibly escape a real black hole in outer space only by going all the way through it until you emerge from the other side. It’s quite the metaphor for transformation and perhaps the reason she ends the song by singing, “But you got to go deeper, it’s the only way out, only way out…” Now that’s some really, really, seriously deep, dark stuff!
The mood lightens a bit with Mona Lisa in a Comic Book. It’s a tongue-in-cheek change up that’s a collection of self deprecating conundrums and insightful contradictions. This is followed by the title track and then the haunting ode to 9/11, One Day the Sun Came Up. The penultimate number here is Every Day You Break My Heart. As with Black Hole we’re left with the impression the author has once more entered into her own autobiographical territory. After all, who is better than yourself at breaking your own heart? It’s a brooding, melancholy piece that is like looking in the mirror the morning after a night of too many unwise choices and actions.
The closer here, Reconsider Me, is a completely unanticipated offering. It’s a reworking of a Warren Zevon composition that’s as insanely sad as it is sweet. It’s at this point here at the end that Alpha Cat goes for the sentimental jugular vein and slices into it like a skilled surgeon. Worked by any other artist this cover tune could leave a saccharine like aftertaste in the aural palette of most listeners. McCullough doesn’t leave us feeling as if she just played our emotional heartstrings like a fiddle, instead we’re left with the impression she’s opened up her own vulnerabilities to us in such a way that we have no other choice than to be left in debt to her for the trust she’s shared.
In closing I want to give a tip of my hat to the cavalcade of hired guns and studio musicians that singer/songwriter/instrumentalist/producer Elizabeth McCullough, or perhaps I should simply say Alpha Cat, has brought together on this production. There’s Fred Smith (Blondie and the band Television), Doug Pettibone (Lucinda Williams, John Mayer), Reggie McBride (Stevie Wonder, Funkadelic, Elton John) Jason Harrison Smith (Albert Lee, Kelly Sweet, Ian Andersen) and engineer/co-producer Jon Mattox behind the sound console. The album was mixed and mastered by post-production legend Brett (Cosmo) Thorngren. Now that’s a pretty serious team in to unite under any roof.
PATCH.COM - Aug 28, 2019
NYC based musician Elizabeth McCullough, aka Alpha Cat, is back with a brand new release, Thatched Roof Glass House - By Kirby Simons
All art is an emotional and visceral reaction to life in our surroundings. That is why the more emotion that shines through an artist tends to be the hook that grabs the listener's heart. Alpha Cat has more than enough emotion combined with artistic experience to make this new CD release a very compelling listen indeed.
Alpha Cat is the brainchild of Elizabeth McCullough who began in the business as a photographer. Her proximity to the Lower Eastside Ground Zero for punk music led to her getting to know such NYC punk luminaries as Fred Smith from Television and Chris Butler from the Waitresses. The late 1999 EP “Real Boy” was recorded with the help of some of the NJ contingent from the Bongos. It charted well on radio, (as is the new single from this new Alpha Cat release, Mona Lisa in a Comic Book, by the way). There was a lot of momentum in the Cat world when all of a sudden things changed with 9/11. The public was just not as welcoming to bold music in those dark days and the Alpha Cat momentum ground to a halt.
This coincided with the very serious struggle that came into Elizabeth's world with depression. It took several years for her to re-orient herself artistically and now she is coming back strong with the first new Alpha Cat recordings to be released in some time. The title alone, Thatched Roof Glass House (Aquamarine Records) speaks to the many contradictions this delicate and gentle construct represent artistically. You can feel that again and again in these lyrics: "I've fallen into a black hole / looked like your heart felt like my soul / now I got nowhere to go / from this side out looks like the end of the world."
Perception is the stock and trades of those people in the world that involve themselves in the aesthetics. Black Hole may be the one song that evokes the famous quote from Spinal Tap as they gather around the King's Grave in Graceland. "A little too much f***ing perspective". Alpha Cat's juxtaposing those lyrics against the jangle guitars and insistent drumming where the drummer beats out an intriguing tattoo on the cymbals creates the tension. The song musically and lyrically melds together as an expression of the darker nature of life when dealing with depression. All the time there is also a great pop sensibility that shines through as well. It is an intriguing record from an artist that has been silent for too long.
SPUTNIK MUSIC - September 5th, 2019
Alpha Cat Thatched Roof Glass House - by AnnieWay - Review Summary 4.0 excellent: "Thatched Roof Glass House" is a challenging album wrapped up in melody and angst.
Alpha Cat’s “Thatched Roof Glass House” album came across my desk and is now coming out of speakers on the computer. It’s a challenging piece of work. It is wrapped up in melody and angst, and hits the right balance between an artist entertaining us and an artist baring their soul. The reoccurring themes here seem to be shyness, loss, and an inability to relate to what people might term as the normal world. In that respect, the singer/songwriter Elizabeth McCullough shares many traits with those who choose the arts.
Alpha Cat formed her artistic sensibility through the art scene in NYC. She had long been a published photographer, and since NYC is a melting pot, she soon found herself running with musicians as well. Taking a chance, she recorded her first record with producer Fred Smith of Television, and the help of other like-minded musicians. This led to notoriety and airplay and a second record. This is where the story becomes interesting. She dropped off her master of Pearl Harbor at its LA manufacturer on Sept 10, 2001, with the release planned for that October. As you can imagine this did not bode well for this second release, so the sounds of glass buildings shattering and the metaphor of war the record evoked did not capture the public like the first one. These setbacks couples with health issues kept Alpha Cat out of the public eye for some time.
Now on “Thatched Roof Glass House” the Alpha Cat train is back on the track. Especially with the song Mona Lisa in Comic Book. Kicking off with the strut and confidence of a woman who knows who she is and what she wants from her songs, Mona Lisa in A Comic Book has all the elements of a great radio track. It does not sound like anything I have heard on the radio in a long time. Big strummed guitars and the jagged melody lines provide a complimentary counterpoint. Her reimagining of Warren Zevon’s Reconsider Me is another gem with cool guitar lines weaving in and out of a fairly simple sounding percussion track. Nice production tricks give the songs a wobbly shimmer that really feeds the story and feel of the tune.
This album is challenging and the epitome of that is in the darkness, such as the track Every Day You Break My Heart. This is a cry from the soul and it is reflected in the insistent pounding tribal drums. It is like the lyrics and the music are working together to get the ancient message across. This album on Aquamarine Records is already placing on the folk music charts and is sure to be gaining more airings and fans if the exposure can be kept up. It’s like Alpha Cat is curled up under the sun and looking down from her Thatched Roof smiling a Mona Lisa smile.
BUZZFEED - August 7, 2019 - By Kay Kinta
After an extended hiatus, Alpha Cat has now returned with the album Thatched Roof Glass House.
As one of those women who grew up being a suburban Riot Grrl, I have to admit to having a certain “sister’s doing it for each other” attitude. I love being a writer slash artist and tend to enjoy when I see women doing the same thing and doing it well. Elizabeth McCullough was doing multilevel art projects that included film, photography and music since the early eighties. She comes from the same pool from the NYC art scene that spawned punk stalwarts Blondie and Television. After making a great first impression with her seminal release "Real Boy" (1999) which impacted college radio and the underground press she continued to release challenging music. The timing of her release in 2001 called "Pearl Harbor" could not have been worse. It was in those days after 9/11 and having a release that had sonic touches such as bombs and explosion just did not fit the zeitgeist at that time. It was re-released in 2002 and worked at college radio and press and ended up receiving some best of that year awards. Those unfortunate choices coupled with health issues have sidelined her Alpha Cat alter ego for some years.
She is now returned and has made the stunning "Thatched Roof Glass House" (Aquamarine Records). Teaming up with musical co-conspirators Fred Smith from Television, as co-producer and guitarist Doug Pettibone from the Lucinda Williams and John Mayer orbit. She also added into the mix Reggie McBride (Stevie Wonder, Funkadelic, Elton John) on bass and Jason Harrison Smith on drums. Jason has laid down the rhythmic foundation for such musical luminaries as Albert Lee, Kelly Sweet and Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson. The musical results speak for themselves. The NYC punk-pop aesthetic shines through with attention and detail. The music is both poppy and underground performance art at the same time. It is also done with the confidence and shine of a woman who has lived life and faced hard times emotionally and physically. Young girls in the same musical fields usually have to manufacture such emotional musical content. Alpha Cat just opens her mouth and it pours with an authority 23-year olds do not have the life experience to muster. Time for press and radio to open their eyes and ears to give it a listen!
MEDIUM.COM - Sep 6, 2019 - By Darell Murray
Alpha Cat’s “Thatched Roof Glass House” is one more record that speaks to several topics in America and the wider world; hopes and dreams, alienation, feminism, obsession and depression. The level of identity issues here speaks to a wider strain of questioning that is permeating all aspects of life including pop music. There have been many female artists before, going back to the great blues singers of the early 20th century like Bessie Smith who have explored the deep frustration from the female perspective on their roles in life and dealing with the species called…MEN. Actually, that is not exactly fair because you can tell that a lot of women singer-songwriters mostly have an indomitable ‘give it a go’ attitude when it comes to men. The man can do what men do and the women will sadly shake their heads and deal with it. The Tammy Wynette song “Stand by Your Man” is a classic example of female stoicism that addresses the better angels of the X chromosome.
Alpha Cat treads this ground on several songs in this interesting project. There is a hint of acoustic Nirvana on the track “Every Day You Break My Heart,” and suddenly it starts to gallop as the vocals intone: “Slow down, back up, no one believes a single word you say…” Then you realize the deeper darker tale of personal and family dysfunction that swirls around in singer, writer, bandleader, Elizabeth McCullough’s head. It would be interesting to find out who are the female influences here. Certainly, a little Patty Smith, ala “Horses”. I swear there may even be a hint of early Madonna influences coming out here on this melody laden CD. “Mona Lisa in a Comic Book” evokes a bit of the rock and roll Keith Richards of feminist activism, Ms. Chrissie Hynde. The pop sensibility and sultry vocals give the song an extra edge that sounds good when the volume is cranked up. Overall, “Thatched Roof Glass House” (from the Aquamarine label) is a good record and one that deserves a little extra scrutiny in the age of disposable music.
LIVE JOURNAL - September 10 2019 - By nthorpe
At seven songs this new record by Alpha Cat is short in terms of length but it is long on the expression of human emotion. The range and depth of what is commonly called angst these days is really the key point of the album and artistry in general. Alpha Cat’s songs are deeply personal and expressive in ways that almost seem to be forgotten in the current climate. There is a rage against the machine element here in songs like Mockingbird and others, but what is important here is the rage is not directed against some corporate interest or societal injustice. The rage and attendant sadness seem to be directed at the songwriter herself and the environment she circulates through.
The two-pronged notion of the frailty of a woman coupled with strength of spirit creates the tension that makes the songs come alive. Skillfully aided by long-time professional music makers like Fred Smith, Doug Pettibone, and Reggie McBride provide the extra flourishes that makes the songs like Reconsider Me or Every Day You Break My Heart have the gravity and the connection to the sheer raw emotions that the artist cares to convey. In this case, Alpha Cat is the nom de plume of long-time NYC artist Elizabeth McCullough who has almost been like an Alphabet City version of Kate Bush, taking a long time between releases for outer and inner reasons. When the music does come out, it demands your attention.
The achievement here on Alpha Cat’s Thatched Roof Glass House album, as far as commercial music is concerned, is the almost gem-like Mona Lisa in a Comic Book, which extrapolates that dichotomy between high art and the hopefully mass audience that would want to own a song as good as that. There is a vivid NYC quality that seeps through the music and you can almost see the passersby in life from a small table in a SOHO café. The music has the spark of New York City life that no songs ever have from anywhere else in the country. All in all a really wonderful statement from an artist we could stand to hear from a little more frequently.
KURRENT MUSIC - September 24, 2019 - By T. E. Taylor
Alpha Cat’s new album Thatched Roof Glass House is a contradiction in terms from the title on down to the songs. It is a mélange of the old and the new that butts up against each other in creative friction. There is a feeling of a distressed emotional permanence that lurks in the background, hovering like a specter that you just know is there outside the frame. The phrases that indicate this appear to be flying from all directions from the singer and songwriter Elizabeth McCullough’s emotive vocals. Every turn of phrase seems to be a parry or thrust in some long-playing fencing with the opposite sex. The issue is in the end that every time you fence and thrust and parry there will inevitably be a winner and loser. I think I can tell from this couplet what Alpha Cat thinks of the situation. “I’ve fallen into a black hole, looked like your heart, felt like my soul, now I’ve got nowhere to go, from this side out looks like the end of the world…”
There is a bleakness in that song Black Hole that defines the very essence of an artist struggling with the idea of producing art. Couple these ideas with fine production and playing by New York City and elsewhere based musicians like Fred Smith of Television and Reggie McBride, who has played bass with the likes of Stevie Wonder, Funkadelic, and Elton John, and you have a dense and challenging record to explore.
The one time that Alpha Cat makes it easier on the listener is in the gorgeous Mona Lisa in a Comic Book. Still retaining some of the soul-searching examination that the other tunes exhibit this one comes in a rousing and melodic package that is the tune on this record that you can tap your toes to, snap your fingers and have an ironic smile cross your face a time or two. There have been other records that have come and gone from this artist, but this one feels like it can be a permanent part of the NYC musical neighborhood.
mi2n - Music Industry News Network - 09-26-2019
Alpha Cat’s “Thatched Roof Glass House” Is Intense. Alpha Cat’s new “Thatched Roof Glass House” (Aquamarine Records) CD arrived the other day and I read the EPK and popped the CD. I listened and then I listened again. Then I listened and I listened again. This process went on for a while and I realized a few things. It was not going to be easy to write a review of this CD.
It is a good record, don’t get me wrong. There is some good playing and there are some good songs, but overall the record made me feel vaguely unsatisfied and uneasy. This bugs me a bit because music, in general, is like a stream that will always flow in one direction. You can tell where it is going. In the case of Alpha Cat, it is not always readily apparent. The one clear thing I can say is that it is not the bang-up feel good CD of the year. That is not always a bad thing.
The ideas and questions and laments seem to pop up with every twist in the road in these songs, which are sung alternately with a vocal detachment and/or total involvement to the point where the heart comes out of the singer’s mouth. I almost got a severe case of emotional whiplash, from the pure pop enjoyment of “Mona Lisa In A Comic Book” to the consideration of a warm bath and razor blades of “Black Hole”. Here’s a sample of the lyrics:
I’ve fallen into a black hole,
looked like your heart,
felt like my soul.
Now I’ve got nowhere to go,
from this side out looks like the end of the world.
Luckily for the casual listener there are a few songs with far less extremes to be dealt with. The title track, “Thatched Roof Glass House” is a good example:
Can’t say I need more possessions,
but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want more of you.
Don’t have to give up our freedom,
but I think it’s all becoming clear,
‘cause when I say I’ll be right back
you say I’ll be right here.
If I’m a sailor you’re an anchor, baby,
I show you how to float the waves,
you show me how to stay in one place.
Knock down that thatched roof glass house,
build a domicile that’s quake-proof,
to free us from this prison
takes a stone thrown through our window walls.
It stays in pretty positive territory and is an engaging love song, though from a tough NYC mentality, that wants ironclad reassurance. Which every New Yorker thinks is a right in life. It is a challenge this CD, but at the end of the day...who doesn’t like a good challenge?
THE SHARP POST - September 27, 2019 - by Kristie Sharp
Straddling a fine line between human want and need, Alpha Cat could never be confused with the wishy-washy in music. There is a maturity and depth to the music that gets highlighted at all the right times in this offering. Not the typical CD loaded with 15 songs this collection is kept to a reasonable length. The music is all the better for it as well. Plus 7 is my lucky number. Starting with the song ‘Mockingbird’ the singer sounds like she is trying to communicate with something deep inside and is using the metaphor of the mockingbird to do it.
“Shoot the messenger if you don’t want to hear the news
Stay away from him if you don’t wanna catch the blues
Nonsense, too intense
Cover up your eyes
Never look in the book
The cover will suffice
Don’t glow, don’t shine, it’s a sin
Mockingbird, never heard
he just blends right in…”
In this day and age of 24/7 media messaging and psychic overload, it is easy to understand the vaguely psychotic impulse to “shoot” anyone with a message you do not want to hear. I can get that way sometimes regarding everyone yapping at me about how they want to make my life better by changing the way I think along with my behavior. ‘Black Hole’ is where I have to jump back from the precipice a little. It is a deep dark though melodic lament that has it all laid out in a 21st Century version of ” Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”.
“I’ve fallen into a black hole
looked like your heart
felt like my soul
now I’ve got nowhere to go
from this side out looks like the end of the world
Why’d you have to roll over me that way?
you mowed me like a wheat field on a patent black tractor
with your back-ho jeering me from back at the farmhouse
you got your baby cake
and still eaten me whole”
The great thing about it though is the taught driving drum and guitar work that has an almost new wave sound to it. ‘Mona Lisa In A Comic Book’ keeps things moving in a good direction. The production and musicality of this CD shine on this track and a couple of other ones particularly. The title track, ‘Thatched Roof Glass House,’ also keeps the listener's interest. The most affecting song for me was the last one, (the Warren Zevon cover) ‘Reconsider Me.’ Every human being alive has that one love wherein their mind, and regardless of circumstance, they’d come running.
“If you’re all alone and you need someone
call me up and I’ll come running
Reconsider me, reconsider me
If it’s still the past that makes you doubt
well darlin’ that was then and this is now
Reconsider me, please econsider me”
It can sound foolish and pathetic but to the ones who feel love, it sounds like a strong honest and humble response to one of the universally cruel elements of life when you are born into this world. Alpha Cat is a strong artist and her music and band reflect that through the 7 offerings here on this ‘Thatched Roof Glass House’ album.
SCOOP IT - October 3, 2019 - Scooped by Floyd Bernard
Alpha Cat Howls on Thatched Roof Glass House
Sparkling vocals set against stinging guitar lines over a bed of rhythm and expressive drumming is the hallmark of this band. The number of women in rock has climbed exponentially since the feminist movements got power in media and culture since the late 2000s and this is a prime example of the new generation coming forth. There is a certain emotional targeting that hits the bullseye in most of these tracks. The juxtaposition between strength and frailty seems to be Ms. Cat’s sweet spot.
The sometimes dense and emotional impact is highlighted on the opening track Mockingbird and it sets a high standard for the rest of the remaining selections. On Mona Lisa in a Comic Book, there seems to be a nice playing with word exercise at work that manages to capture the duality of nature between Ms. Cat as a woman and as an artist. It also has a good dose of ironic humor helping it along as well. That hat trick is pretty damn clever if you ask me. The bonus is it comes wrapped in a pop-like sheen that would sound great coming out of an AM radio at the beach. The concept of an almost Yin and Yang view of life comes into play on the song Thatched Roof Glass House.
“If I’m a sailor you’re an anchor, baby
I show you how to float the waves
you show me how to stay in one place
knock down that thatched roof glass house
build a domicile that’s quake-proof
to free us from this prison
takes a stone thrown through our window walls
The yearning and the quest for artistry and stability in love life and home is a subject that we all take to heart and wish and strive for. Ms. Cat ably handles that aspect and gives us even more perspective on the chilling plea of Reconsider Me. ( Note mine: Warren Zevon wrote this song!) It gives me that late autumn chill of an October day sliding by and realizing the sun is setting and you did not get done what you wanted to get done that day. You want to get that day back.
“If it’s still the past
that makes you doubt
well darlin’ that was then
and this is now
reconsider me, reconsider me
And I’ll never make you sad again
‘cause I swear that I’ve changed since then
and I promise that I’ll never make you cry
let’s let bygones be forgotten
please consider me”
Overall this "Thatched Roof Glass House" record (on the Aquamarine label) by Alpha Cat is a good album by a good group and it should be heard like a Tom Cat howling in the night for a mate.
SLASHDOT - October 15, 2019 - by Selby Woodham
Alpha Cat Brings It Home on Thatched Roof Glass House
Tough and gritty emotionally charged music that straddles the line between Emo and New Wave and No Wave music. Alpha Cat releases music sporadically in the output mold of Jesus and the Mary Chain. You can wait a while for a new release, but it is always worth the wait artistically. A modern version NYC version of Kate Bush via punk comes into play when you look at the arc of this act’s career. The new album, “Thatched Roof Glass House,” (Aquamarine Records) is a contemplative unsettling affair for the listener that demands involvement. Lucky for us the catchy hooks and a beautiful sense of melody come to the fore.
This is most evident on the first radio single Mona Lisa in A Comic Book, which achieves the duel feat of slight self-mockery and reverence for artistic creation as well. There seems to be much soul searching involved with the lyrics here. Tinged with admiration and disdain for consumerism and shallow envy, versus contempt and admiration over aesthetic looks, the song’s message resonates. The song descends into a darker plain when it gets revealed that all under the surface the iron hold of alcohol addiction and addiction to another human comes to light.
“He’s the president of his own four walls
he’s a masterwork in a paperback
she’s Mona Lisa in a comic book
Chip away, make it fit, hit it a little bit harder
make it fit, chip away until there’s nothing left.
Pay your respects to the man inside the bottle
he’s doing the best that you’ll let him
He’s a bright light, in a dark room
so nobody turns him on
she’s a slow fuse, in a tinder box
But nobody’s found a match”
Very affecting and challenging ideas to what is a bit of pure pop sunshine melodically and musically. Another intriguing song and melody reside in the title track Thatched Roof Glass House. There seems to be a charged atmosphere of life orientated opinions mixed with an undertone of politics that seems to be lurking in the background. All set off with the classic Hal Blaine drum figure there is an anthem-like quality to this song that seems to be strutting confidently in high heels, all around the speakers. Gutsy and challenging the whole of the 7 songs from Alpha Cat is a good listen for any serious music fan. Four stars out of five from me.
BANDCAMP DIARIES - October 24, 2019
Alpha Cat is the moniker behind singer and songwriter Elizabeth McCullough, currently based in New York. She has developed a unique music project with a very open and diverse sound. The scope of the act’s mercurial music ranges from many different genres, including folk, rock, alternative and more. Her most recent release is a full-length album titled “Thatched Roof Glass House.”
This full-length contains six original songs (and one cover) each showcasing a different side to Elizabeth’s personality and creative range. “Mockingbird” is a lush and beautifully atmospheric song that sets the mood for the entire release with some amazing background effects and layered vocal tones.
“Black Hole” has a retro feel to it, and I really enjoy that 70s rock vibe, that still retains so much atmospheres. It’s almost as if The Beatles and Coldplay had the chance to jam out, allowing two different musical worlds to collide, retaining the creativity of the former, and the melodic definition of the latter. “Mona Lisa in a Comic Book” is my favorite track on the EP. I love the anthemic drums and the insightful lyrics, highlighting Alpha Cat’s amazing songwriting skills and love for 60s inspired sounds. The title track is equally as inspired, but its a bit more understated: a quintessential indie rock track with a pop edge to it!
“One Day The Sun Came Up” is another beautiful composition, a bit more laid back and relaxed, mostly focused on creating a dreamy, introspective mood. Every Day You Break My Heart falls along the same lines, with darker, baser guitars and a bit of that post-grunge vibe. Last, but not least, “Reconsider Me”( a Warren Zevon composition) is a fantastic curtain closer. This song is beautifully atmospheric.
THE-FURTHER.COM (France) - octobre 29, 2019
Today, we are really proud of our discovery. Smooth, poetic, with an absolutely unique and recognizable voice, Elizabeth McCullough, aka Alpha Cat, offers a new album to the world, and it is entitled “Thatched Roof Glass House”.
We adore the entire project but our favorite and most significant song to us, is the beautiful “Black Hole”.
How do you take the image of a black hole and make it positive? Here is Elizabeth’s answer, which perfectly describes the song: “When I wrote that song I’d just read how astronomers had determined that you could actually escape a black hole, but only by going all the way through and out the other side. And that leads to all this wormhole and time travel theory, where not only do you avoid annihilation, but you arrive at a place you might never have reached otherwise. It’s an amazing metaphor for transformation, and ultimately hopeful. That’s why the end of the song is:you gotta go deeper it’s the only way out.
You’ve caught on, Alpha Cat translates her experience with life into beautiful and profound songs, maybe as a loophole, or a way to give people hope to overcome the darknesses when things are starting to settle aground. Through her alter ego Alpha Cat, Elizabeth McCullough brings us into a gorgeous and hearty musical journey. You should definitely listen to the whole album.
ILLUSTR3USMUSIC.COM - October 31, 2019
The quality is rich, the mixing and mastering are sublime. The lyrics are a mixture of astute quips and conundrums. The singing, mixing, and production offered in this album is crisp in quality, creatively inspiring, and sonically meeting industry specifications. The melodies and cadence for the duration of this project are majestic. The songwriting is on a prolific level, think REM, Pink Floyd, and Bob Dylan. Songs that are cryptic with profound meaning digging beyond the surface to grasp a deeper understanding. The New York based band Alpha Cat is armed with exceptional talent to create thought provoking music, and it’s on full display on their latest album titled “Thatched Roof Glass House”.
Identifying your engaging quality as an artist serves in forming a deeper connection with an audience without knowing the wifi password. The bond goes beyond surface level and resonates on a visceral level. Ruminating music that transmits frequencies allowing one’s ascension to different mediums. Music with the ability to take you places you’ve never been then leave you with the impression of feeling as if you actually experienced these fond experiences. This attribute in itself is uncanny, but superfluous and often exercised as one indulges in this album. An indicator that tends to separate the trendy bands from the ones offered the opportunity to become tenured.
From its inception “Mockingbird” demands the listeners attention with its panning and ambient soundscapes. On “Mockingbird” the concept is informing you to be yourself, the irony in itself is poetic prose. The syntax transmitted is elegantly germinating the listener’s device with self empowering maxims. “Be yourself or be loved” one can infer that this statement is derived to be sarcastic in a sense. This song is motivational and highly recommended for dreamers, who are content with being themselves even if it results in the lack of attention that might be garnered from being different.
Next sequencing into “Black Hole” which is spry and vibrant in rhythm, and paired with elegant overtones and ominous lyrics. Esoteric in it’s delivery even challenging for a trained ear to decode, but it’s so melodic that you can listen infinitely till the message seeps in like osmosis. The bass line is infectious, the melodies are magnetic. “I’m a fallen tree and you’re a wood with no ears - screaming platitudes inside of a vacuum - a hundred hands clapping and you feel no better” the complicity is rich and the melodies allow for playback value. It then transitions into “Mona Lisa in a Comic Book.” The lyrics are poignant, written by consummate professionals. The vocalist croons “He’s a goldmine in a junkyard so nobody digs him”, and “He’s a bright light in a dark room, so nobody turns him on” those lines blew my mind literally, one of the best double entendres I’ve heard in the past decade. The story telling is superb and engaging, weaving stories from different pockets of the universe. A slew of captions and sayings could be derived from this track.
“Thatched Roof Glass House,” the title track is filled with veiled lyrics pertaining to a past relationship. A scorned lover (note mine: actually NOT) reflecting on the relationship in a moment of clarity. At times you get the impression you experience when you’re engaging in an inside joke without being privy to the whole backstory. At other times you’re treated with cunning lyrics such as “When I say I’ll be right back, you say I’ll be right here... If I’m a sailor you’re an anchor baby…” The guitar riffs in the bridge section are phenomenal and heightens the momentum of the recording.
“One Day The Sun Came Up” follows with a slower tempo, the drum patterns are complex and riveting. The harmonies evoke this monastery elegance over some compelling story telling. The folklore approach is comparable to Bob Dylan, or Paul Simon. The lyrics are a point of emphasis and something this band hangs their hats on.
The next selection is “Everyday You Break My Heart.” This song is driven by cynicism which reverberates through almost every line constructed in this song. The singer harmonizes “Let go, wake up, you’ll never get back what you let get away.” By now I know I’ve exhausted reiterating how cunning the lyrics are on this album but aptness for clever lyrics must be appreciated in some form, so the pleasure of being able to do so is rewarding. The premise of the record is about an ex-lover expounding on the pain felt in a dissolved relationship (another note, mine: this is actually about my mother). It then transitions into an awakening of some sort on…
“Reconsider Me” is the final track of this album. The guitar lick and concept is mundane. “Reconsider Me” sounds like a record I should’ve heard a million times over. However, to Alpha Cat’s credit I haven’t, and upon this first hearing it expressed from this perspective with this unique approach. Instead of groveling, disengaging or wallowing, they opted to simply pose the question for reconsideration. I haven’t heard too many love songs put this simply. This lacks the depth and complicity encountered on previous records and depending on the listener could be appreciated more, or disregarded for what it lacks. This lacks sizzle in its musical arrangement, but a catchy tune nonetheless.
What resonates beyond time and space is a unique connection those special artists or bands conjure that facilitates a connection with the world from a different perspective as if it’s your own. Alpha Cat throughout “Thatched Roof Glass House” exemplifies the above-mentioned in a myriad of ways. Alternative rock, soft rock, dark pop, however you opt to classify this due to the elements incorporated in its composition, do not exclude the ipso facto sentiment that it’s great music. A phenomenal body of work. This album is equipped with proverbs channeled in music, rhythms that are prescribed, and consumed via 7 anecdotes personified as antidotes injected through streams.
SHE-WOLF (Germany) - Nov 19, 2019 - By Philipp Gottfried (Translated from the German as best as possible)
With "Thatched Roof Glass House," New York-based musician Elizabeth McCullough, better known under the name of Alpha Cat, presents her third studio output. This is a kind of compilation, which contains both revised material from Alpha Cat's debut full-length Pearl Harbor. Alpha Cat sealed the beginning of her musical career with her demo tape Real Boy, which was officially released as an EP (extended play record) in 1999 and was able to stay in the national airplay charts for over six weeks. Work on a successor to her album, 2001’s Pearl Harbor, was interrupted because the artist fell into a private black hole, by a stroke of fate. But at the end of such a black hole, according to physicists, there is still a new vista, and so, the American reports back.
Elizabeth McCullough, aka Alpha Cat, starts with her song Mockingbird on her comeback album, which is just scratching the label for the EP. First of all, the unique selling point, a clean electric guitar comes out of the speakers, which should be understood as a kind of welcome greeting, before the mezzo-soprano voice of Alpha Cat joins the arrangement. This arrangement is driven by catchy drums at medium tempo. Together with a driving game of bass guitar and a clean lead guitar, which have a lot of feeling in terms of composition and play, Alpha Cat does a good job with this title and presents a profound and energetic song, especially in the chorus, which can convince you directly and make you want more.
In the chorus, areas of the synthesizer provide a certain depth, which is not intrusive, but rather supports the arrangement. Black Hole gets down to business faster. Slightly fuzzy guitars and cymbal-heavy drums play a good introduction, together with the alpha cat's voice, and quickly turns into a brisk alternative rocker, musically realized with the greatest care and impressing with an elaborate game and interesting arrangement. The single release, Mona Lisa in a Comic Book, comes out of the boxes more calm and almost beat-like.
At least musically you have to think of a mixture of Kaiserchiefs and the Beatles, which is somehow supported by the chorus. The only difference is that these are Women in Rock - Alpha Cat. Here modern rock and retro rock come together to form a large whole and can also fully score. The radio-compatible, title song Thatched Roof Glass House is also shown a rocking arrangement. With the interplay of the bass guitar, which really makes the music here, tight drums, somewhat quieter mixed electric guitars and the sharp voice of Alpha Cat, a catchy tune is presented here that could easily act as recommended listening and burns into the ear canal. What is the message of the song? One who sits in the glass house shouldn't throw stones? If this folksy wisdom is dedicated to the critics who rate Alpha Cat’s music negatively, then the current reviewer signs off on this metaphor – (are they are basing something off of a poorly understood concept – kind of like people following superstition without understanding it) without comment! Because musically, the comeback of the indie musician is definitely worth it. This will also be the case with the next title One Day the Sun Came Up (9/11/2001) which meanders its way out at a slow pace. Due to its pitch, both vocal and instrumental, this title can easily make you get lost in melancholic pondering.
If the verse is still calm and shallow, the chorus is stormy and the track is presented, which is between alternative, indie, retro and progressive rock moves. With Every Day You Break My Heart on Thatched Roof Glass House, we have another track that is on the one hand melancholic and on the other, brutally rocking. In addition to catchy drums and guitar or bass parts at the beginning, it is accompanied by a slight organ sound. Would you like to think a little of Nirvana in the stormy part given the lead guitar? Elizabeth McCullough 's vocals fit like a fist on the eating board to the somber-melancholic arrangement of the instruments, which comes out of the speakers in a sophisticated, diverse and progressive way. Finally, there is the rock ballad Reconsider Me, which has catchy music and harmonious chants forming the perfect ending of Thatched Roof Glass House, the quasi-comeback album by Alpha Cat.
Conclusion: 10 out of 10
Alpha Cat is the personified proof that giving up should never be an option. If she had, rock fans could never enjoy this pearl between indie, alternative and traditional rock and pop. The mezzo-soprano in her voice fits perfectly with the songs. Both harmonize with each other and the production of the record leaves nothing to complain about. Somebody managed to return here.
SPARKLING SOUND - Nov 23, 2019 - Review: Alpha Cat - Mockingbird
Elizabeth McCullough, professionally known in the music industry as Alpha Cat, is a woman of many talents. Photographer, composer, singer, multi-instrumentalist, and performer are merely a few of her skills. Mockingbird is the second single from Alpha Cat's current album, “Thatched Roof Glass House,” and was recorded with the help of Fred Smith (Blondie and the band Television), guitarist Doug Pettibone (Lucinda Williams, John Mayer), Reggie McBride (Stevie Wonder, Funkadelic, Elton John) on bass, co-producers Jason Harrison Smith (Albert Lee, Kelly Sweet, Ian Andersen) and Jon Mattox on drums, and mastered by post-production legend Brett (Cosmo) Thorngren.
Mockingbird is the brand new single and is a beautifully composed track. To fully express the song's meaning, singer's pleasant vocals make listeners pay attention to the lyrics.
Mockingbird starts with guitars, and they grab the listener's attention immediately. The song gives listeners almost 4 minutes of enjoyment because of the whole mood of the track and carefully written lyrics, that makes this song a perfect example of a great track. To sum up, Mockingbird is an amazingly catchy song that will stay on repeat for a long time.
MUSIC TRAILS - December 2, 2019 - By Evelin
As a woman of many talents, Elizabeth McCullough uses her various creative skills to create as a photographer, composer, multi-instrumentalist, and performer. She has taken a much-needed break from performing for more than a decade and now returns with music that can bring on a good time with meaningful lyrics and unique beats.
Opening the Thatched Roof Glass House LP is the single, “Mockingbird.” The song begins with exhilarating electric guitar riffs that prepare the listener for the catchy, calming beats and lyrics that are quickly approaching. The lyric video provides calming visuals as it shows different angles of a birds nest with the lyrics popping up at the beat of each word.
Her vocals are incredibly unique, that alone brings a distinct sound to the lyrics about being who you are. McCullough advises people to avoid everything that’s new to them in order to not be affected by anything. (Note mine: NO! Quite the opposite!) “Shoot the messenger if you don’t want to hear the news/ stay away from him if you don’t wanna catch the blues/ nonsense, too intense/ cover up your eyes/ never look in the book/ the cover will suffice,” she sings.
JUKEBOX WARBLER - Dec 4, 2019 - By George
Alpha Cat - Mockingbird: It is increasingly difficult to find guitar based music that is truly innovative in 2019. Enter Alpha Cat, the moniker of singer/songwriter Elizabeth McCullough. With dizzying virtuosity balanced out by a soothing sense of melody, she synthesizes 70 years worth of pop music into a forward thinking, highly expressive style all her own. Her latest single, 'Mockingbird,' showcases everything she does best.
A self described "dreamy ode to individuality," Mockingbird opens with a whirl of overlapping guitars that set the stage for the song's emotional conundrum, which is summed up in the chorus- "Be yourself or be loved." While McCullough never offers an easy solution, her soul stirring melodies offer a bit of catharsis for those struggling with self acceptance in a world full of judgement. For a certain strand of thoughtful, introspective music fan, Alpha Cat is a diamond in the rough waiting to be discovered. With a few more releases of this caliber, a lot of people will be discovering her soon.
REDDIT - Dec 5, 2019 - BY Simon Sheppard
I know this may not be the politically correct thing to say in public these days, but I don’t like cats. It is not that I wish them ill-fortune; I just don’t like their personalities as much as doggies. They are annoying creatures who really do look like they are thinking of ways to kill you when they have those uncomfortable stares. In this age where there are a half a billion idiots, (sorry, I meant, wonderful people who can change the world) around the globe on YouTube, clicking their lives away watching felines be jerks, I think throttling back on cat mania is probably the best decision for humanity. Then I get a record that makes me second guess myself on all things tabby…
Alpha Cat is the brainchild of one Elizabeth McCullough. She has been releasing records for a while. This album, "Thatched Roof Glass House" (distributed by Aquamarine Records), is the first one since a prolonged medical hiatus. It is a cool and tough, though a quite questioning release that is the aural equivalent of those black jeaned, leather-wearing art denizens in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. There is an urgency to the emotion that helps wrap this record in a sense of urban cool. Mona Lisa in a Comic Book is the obvious hit on the record. It has that NYC artist new wave type indie vibe that washes over the track, with the imagery coming back to the themes of a working-class Leonardo da Vinci’s spinning out their wares to help promote understanding and break glass ceilings.
In some sense, while listening and thinking about cats, I started thinking about the different ways nature’s a**holes have to communicate vocally and I applied them to some of the 7 songs on this record. Reconsider Me is like that insistent meow when you enter the apartment after a day of work to find the cat on the kitchen counter blandly reminding the apartment owner that once inside, they are there to serve the cat. Black Hole is the kind of cry that a cat will do in the middle of the night just to make sure the apartment owner is not going to be sleeping either. Thatched Roof Glass House is the kind of sound that the cat will make on a sunny afternoon stretched out on the rug and half purring.
Every Day You Break My Heart is that cry you get from the cat when you just fed them a full dinner that they ate all of, yet they still think they want more. Then when you give them more they sniff disdainfully and sashay away. Do you get my drift? All the while the musical end is ably held up by players and producers such as Fred Smith, Reggie McBride, Jon Mattox, Doug Pettibone, Jason Harrison Smith and other members of what should be known as the Lower East Side’s Wrecking Crew.
All in all, while I won’t be getting tickets to see any of those Broadway show "Cats" singing Memories, I would go to Katz’s Deli listening to this on my iPhone’s earbuds. That is enough for me.
(Note mine: OMG!!! Cats is the worst show I have EVER SEEN! And I have to say, for someone who hates cats this much, Simon seems to think an awful lot about them! Just sayin’ e.)
STEREO STICKMAN - Feb 13, 2020 - By Chris Porter
Alpha Cat: Mockingbird: Described by the artist as a ‘dreamy ode to individuality’, Alpha Cat’s Mockingbird comes swirling into view via guitar strums and twangs with a healthy dose of delay and reverb.
A mixture of careful, clean picking (that sounds like they may have got Trevor Rabin in for the session) and more florid lines merge to create a backdrop for the double-tracked vocals and robust snare, which cracks its way through the track.
The little shuffles and stutters on the rest of the kit warm a path through a story that warns the object of the song to ‘be yourself or be loved’. Not necessarily attractive choices in these terms, but this line cuts to the heart of the matter. The insistent melody that accompanies the line digs into your ears, deliberately choosing to hang on slightly discordant notes that don’t change when or where you expect them to. It’s a clever device that makes the song as contrary as an attitude that implies you should remain true to yourself, irrespective of the cost.
Some attractive harmonies pour sugar on the melody in all the right places, but the vicious tuning that’s been put on to the vocal also creates an otherworldly, fluttering quality to the proceedings, which adds to the dreamy feel. The delivery of all of the lines is very precise and meticulous – the word endings are clearly rounded out (unusually so) and this really draws the listener in.
I’m reminded of the quality and spirit of Joni Mitchell throughout certain phrases of Mockingbird, and I’d like to think that Alpha Cat would approve of such a comparison – as she’s something of an ‘alpha cat’ herself. A very clever song, with memorable lyrics and a very deliberate production.
GUITAA (India) - November 1, 2019 - By Shagun Mewara
“Alpha Cat” Shared New Song “Mockingbird”
When Alpha Cat proclaims she has rolled out “Mockingbird” as the first track of her epic album, Thatched Roof Glass House, she may as well have announced an earthquake, or a tidal wave — a tectonic force of change.
The genre of the song is “Alternative Rock” and is an absolute masterpiece. One of the most amazing singles of all time. A transcendental experience. The most beautiful part of the song is the intro part where the guitar plucking starts right from the beginning with the delay pedal, which just sets the aura for the song, which is then rightly followed by the calm and soothing voice of “Elizabeth McCullough, aka Alpha Cat”.
The Chorus part is rightly to be the best line of the song which states that “Be yourself or be loved, be yourself or be loved, be yourself, or be loved, be …” So, don’t wait anymore and listen out to this beautiful song and gives a thumbs up to the amazing artist “Alpha Cat”.
BROKEN 8 RECORDS - Nov 21, 2019
Elizabeth McCullough, better known by her creative moniker Alpha Cat, is a woman of many talents. A photographer, composer, singer, multi-instrumentalist and performer, to name just a few of her enduring talents, Elizabeth has recently returned to the world of music, championing the release the of ‘Thatched Roof Glass House’, her first Alpha Cat release in more than a decade.
Bringing to the fore seven original songs that tread a deft folk-rock path, ‘Thatched Roof Glass House’ is a challenging and unsettled release, one that springs into existence with defiance, angst, and an unstoppable sense of melody. Musically sound and wonderfully personal, the album explores a medley of universal feelings, delving into the still waters of shyness, loss, and social isolation.
It’s tracks ‘Every Day You Break My Heart,’‘One Day the Sun Came Up,’ and closing number ‘Reconsider Me’ speak volumes to the emotional clarity of the album, stitching human moments with strands of tactile folk to create an overwhelming sense of sound. Elsewhere, emotion takes a backseat to more visceral musical whims, leaning on heavy guitar chords and jagged, melodic sounds that twist and turn around a central rock thread. It’s tracks like ‘Mona Lisa in Comic Book’ and the album’s title track that make this gentle balance work, with both sides of the album creating a strange sense of cohesion.
Undoubtedly talented, there is a confidence to Elizabeth’s sound that can’t be denied, creating a refreshing mix of sounds and styles that has undoubtedly benefited from Elizabeth’s time away from music. Score: 8/10
DAILY MUSIC ROLL - December 3, 2019
Alpha Cat showcases an immense sense of musicality in her latest impactful melody ‘Mockingbird’
Alpha Cat’s Elizabeth McCullough is a tremendously talented singer and composer who lets the listener get completely dissolved in her soothing music and allow them to paint their imagination. Her recent composition is a blissful new release that makes the listener forget the concept of write up and just immerse themselves in the ambient layers of delicacy. The subtle melody flowing across the record provides listeners with moments of escapism and carries them to a state of trance. The song ‘Mockingbird’ rains down with a soothing melody line and the composition features hints of melodic drum beats that uplift the artist’s soulful singing. Aquamarine Records is the label under which the singer has composed this delicate yet impactful piece of music.
Elizabeth McCullough who is popularly known as Alpha Cat hails from the United States and is a versatile artist whose compositions are beautifully crafted to offer the listener a journey well worth embarking upon. She is a composer, singer, multi-instrumentalist who has rightfully earned her place in the industry with her immersive tracks leaving enough room for the listener to focus on the soft melody with heartfelt lyrics and a tender voice. The singer-songwriter’s voice ends up being one of the song’s strengths. She successfully constructs an ambiance through her music that showcases the artist’s skills impressively. ‘Mockingbird’ is filled with compelling hooks that serve to illustrate the authenticity of this beautiful song. Every once in awhile, listeners are gifted with a fully entrancing and delightful piece of music and this latest track by Alpha Cat holds to that. Her smooth and melodically flowing vocals envelop the listeners with the richness of the arrangement and let them swing to the rhythms endlessly.
CONTROLPLUSSPACE.COM - December 19, 2019 - By Shaun Zizi
Alpha Cat is a singer on top of her game. Find out why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird with this song!
Elizabeth McCullough, professionally known in the music industry as Alpha Cat, is a woman of many talents. Photographer, composer, singer, multi-instrumentalist, and performer are merely a few of her skills.
Mockingbird is the second single from Alpha Cat’s current album, Thatched Roof Glass House, and was recorded with the help of Fred Smith (Blondie and the band Television), guitarist Doug Pettibone (Lucinda Williams, John Mayer), Reggie McBride (Stevie Wonder, Elton John) on bass, Jason Harrison Smith (Albert Lee, Kelly Sweet, Ian Andersen), co-producer Jon Mattox and mastered by post-production legend Brett (C osmo) Thorngren.
Alpha Cat is influenced by Dionne Warwick, Bob Newhart, the Beatles, Carole King, Motown, Led Zeppelin, Monty Python, David Bowie, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Tom Petty, the Cure, Prince, the Pretenders, Beck, Nirvana, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Check out the lyrics!
Review: “Mockingbird” starts by catching your ear with a guitar riff that turns into an accompaniment for Elizabeth’s strong and soulful voice. The first line of the song, “Black sheep, too deep, can’t sleep,” instantly caught my attention and set the tone of the song perfectly. The lyrics give a vibe of a person who can’t seem to get the attention they long for because they don’t fit in. The drums kick in and your toes instantly start tapping to the beat as Elizabeth’s beautiful voice offers you a melody that gets you singing along. The chorus hits with increased energy and even more memorable lines; easily, the most unforgettable line of the song is “Be yourself or be loved.” This line presents the listener with an ultimatum, a choice to be yourself or be adored. It’s a conundrum that we all have been faced with growing up and trying to belong. “Shoot the messenger if you don’t want to hear the news,” and “Stay away from him if you don’t wanna catch the blues” are other notable and interesting lyrics. Overall, the song has a Fleetwood Mac quality in the music and with Elizabeth’s voice sharing similar haunting beauty as Stevie Nicks. If you are a fan of soulful singers with melodies that will follow you in your dreams and waking life, if you enjoy folk/indie/alternative rock, if you like good music, then you need Alpha Cat’s “Mockingbird” in your playlist now!
BEACH SLOTH - December 19, 2019
Alpha Cat embraces a breezy, jazz-infused indie rock with the sunlit “Mockingbird”. With a delightfully refreshing spirit to it the whole of the track wonders works in creating a soothing atmosphere. Instrumentally vibrant the many players seem keenly attuned to each other, resulting in a sense of group play that at times gives a nod to Tortoise’s powerful aesthetic. Melodically Alpha Cat ensures that the entire piece has a unique catchiness. Going for a spirit of true timelessness the whole of the piece simply plays with listener expectations as it brings together a whole plethora of genres, firmly rooted in a sophisticated chamber pop while giving nods to indie rock, jazz, even a bit of shoegaze into the work.
The Sea and Cake proves to be a key inspiration to their work. Within “Mockingbird” Alpha Cat’s vocals recall Sam Prekop’s easy-going smooth delivery. Lyrically too they opt for a loose poetry, allowing the words to virtually cascade. Refusing to rush anything the mood proves to be the focal point of the entire piece. Fully urbane the way they weave their many elements together into something that feels at times effortless is particularly stunning. So polished the production has a crystal clarity to it allowing every single flourish to truly shine in full.
Nimble guitar work introduces everything, with plenty of room given to accurately let the sound roam. Full of energy and vigor, the way the track unfurls has a poignancy to it. Vocals come into the mix and the whole thing starts in true earnest. Such tremendous love pours out for the whole of the work radiates a certain sense of contemplation. By giving everything plenty of space to fully breathe, the song has a living, breathing quality. Her voice rests front and center of the entire work. Drums and bass never feel rushed; they are given time to have an almost emotional quality to them, unfurling to reveal a true sense of undeniable, satisfying beauty. With “Mockingbird” Alpha Cat shows off their impeccable chops featuring a sound that lingers in the mind long after the song has ended.
STATIC DIVE - January 1, 2020 - Author: Bob Smith
Alpha Cat’s Beautiful And Cautionary Mockingbird
Alpha Cat is the professional name of singer/songwriter Elizabeth McCullough. The artist actually holds a number of other creative titles as well.They include; photographer, composer, singer, multi-instrumentalist and performer. In August of 2019, Alpha Cat released her new album, Thatched Roof Glass House, her first in over a decade. Despite the singer’s long respite from the biz, the record has garnered quite a bit of attention. College Radio has adopted the album. It has made it onto the Top 30 on The North American College & Community Radio Chart.
Mockingbird is the second single from “Thatched Roof Glass House.” McCullough’s band on the record features some music industry heavy-hitters. They include the recording skills of Fred Smith (Blondie and the band Television), guitarist Doug Pettibone (Lucinda Williams, John Mayer), Reggie McBride (Stevie Wonder, Funkadelic, Elton John) on bass, Jason Harrison Smith (Albert Lee, Kelly Sweet, Ian Andersen) and co-producer Jon Mattox on drums, and was mixed and mastered by post-production legend Brett (Cosmo) Thorngren.
The track opens up with some really beautiful guitar. The clean Telecaster picking and bends remain a focal point throughout. It gives the song just a touch of Nashville. However, the rhythm section brings the tune firmly into Adult Alternative territory. All of this is in support of Elizabeth’s smooth and soothing lead vocal. She delivers stream of consciousness lyrics like a reassuring friend. A series of single-line bits of wisdom piece together advice and observations on the value, and risk, of being true to oneself. The Mockingbird sees “be yourself” and “be loved” as opposing concepts. The unspoken message is, don’t fall into that trap.
INDIE BAND GURU - Feb 5, 2020 - BY Keith Pro
Alpha Cat Allows The Call Of ‘Mockingbird’ To Speak
For anyone who is close to the music industry, it is well known that being an artist can be a lonely and difficult life. The mainstream masses see the successes but there are many difficulties and struggles that lead up to any success. The story of Alpha Cat and her new music is a fine example of pushing through and using the power of music to survive.
The multi-talented Elizabeth McCullough is the woman behind the Alpha Cat project. Her music career began back in 1999 with a debut produced by influential Television bassist Fred Smith. Surprise success followed with the EP reaching the CMJ charts and gaining national airplay, highly unlikely for a small independent artist. This allowed Alpha Cat the time to pursue her other talents.
Over time unforeseen circumstances and difficulties crept in that made releasing music quite hard for Elizabeth McCullough. Fortunately in 2019, with newfound sobriety and the retreat of long held fears, music came back and a new album was on the way. The result is the new record Thatched Roof Glass House released this past August.
The second single off the record is “Mockingbird,” a dreamy ode to individuality. Recorded with the help of Fred Smith (Blondie and the band Television), guitarist Doug Pettibone (Lucinda Williams, John Mayer), Reggie McBride (Stevie Wonder, Funkadelic, Elton John) on bass, we get a well-received track. The mellow vibe highlights the unique vocals of Alpha Cat that draw the listener in close. The steady drum beat and Americana tinged guitars pair perfectly to set the mood.
Alpha Cat Release “Mockingbird”
You have yourself a real songstress here with a poet’s mindset and high-caliber material! Alpha Cat is her name and “Mockingbird” is her game that she performs flawlessly. The new single is full of colorful and vibrant notes showcasing Alpha Cat as a real-life “Mockingbird”.
Alpha Cat is Elizabeth McCullough and her music lies within the Alternative Rock realm, but the artist exhibits a wide variety of styles. With influences such as: Dionne Warwick, Bob Newhart, the Beatles, Carole King, Motown, Led Zeppelin, Monty Python, David Bowie, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Tom Petty, the Cure, Prince, the Pretenders, Beck, Nirvana, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, you get the point! “Mockingbird” is the featured single off of the new album titled ‘Thatched Roof Glass House’. Released through Aquamarine Records, “Mockingbird” is staged to be an instant classic in the Indie world.
The single offers the listener so much with Alpha Cat clawing her way through the track in harmonious fashion. The lyrics on “Mockingbird” highlight Alpha Cat as a true singer/songwriter with plenty on her mind. The song contains heavy substance and real truth as you sit, listen and sink your teeth into the meat and potatoes. The flavor is refined and the taste is superb as one will pick up on intoxicating vocals and an entrancing beat. “Mockingbird” is soaring high as Alpha Cat has a way of singing and playing that immediately piques your interest. This level of interest is sustained throughout the entirety of the track with one catchy melody and smart arrangement. “Mockingbird” is super original and Alpha Cat has got charisma that shines through in her music.
I feel this Alpha Cat is just scratching the surface because there is untapped potential that is just waiting to pour out! If “Mockingbird” is any indication of what is yet to come, then I can’t wait to hear what’s next from the poetic songbird. I leave you with something to chew on and Alpha Cat’s (Note mine: my first promoter’s words, NOT MINE!) herself: “Throwing stones through the Thatched Roof Glass House windows of your preconceptions about music.” Simmer on that, but get ready for Alpha Cat to pounce onto the music scene with “Mockingbird”…Time to Fly!
DJ SAY-HEY! MUSIC REVIEWS - March 18, 2020
Alpha Cat – “Thatched Roof Glass House” This collection of seven songs is the brainchild of Alpha Cat, a perennial voice that seems to escape from the silence every couple of years. Firmly ensconced in traditional, yet modern-sounding musical form the songs are extremely emotive and well constructed. Aided by a team that includes members of seminal groups and artists like Television, The Waitresses and Lucinda Williams.
There is an artistic thread that seems to run through these songs that touches upon the range of human emotion. There are forays into darkness that seem as threatening as the gathering of storm clouds on the horizon. Only to be broken up by rays of sunshine that can change the existing tableaus. “Reconsider Me”, the only song here that is not an original composition on the “Thatched Roof Glass House” album, is a haunting song of someone who is trying to recapture the imagination of their lover, while they watch them slowly drift farther and farther from the shores. The pathos and sadness is seen through the musical notes that fall like tears.
Great drumming and great guitars and vocals seem to be the main strength musically of the group. These instruments were provided by the players and producers, among them are Jon Mattox, Fred Smith, Doug Pettibone, Reggie McBride and mastered elegantly by Cosmo Thorngren. With a world-class backbench like that there is no wonder that the music comes alive on the songs “Mona Lisa in a Comic Book,” an obvious stress track that will be surely issued to radio. That track is bolstered by great imagery and melody and insight into the human condition of relationships.
“Thatched Roof Glass House” is the titular track that seems to look into the psychology of this project that deals with the duality of men and women and the trials and tribulations we all go through from time to time. Overall this is an interesting group that has made a third record and is still happily exploring stretching the boundaries of art and commercial music in a way not seen since the great female punk and post-punk artists. Real stuff for real people.