The Hangabouts, a hearty trio from the Detroit area, have just unleashed their sophomore full length album, Kits & Cats & Saxon Wives (a clever title!) and this one pops and rocks in all the right places.  A melodic aggregate of John Lowry, Gregory Addington and Chip Saam, these gentlemen mix together pop, psychedelia, Anglophile influences and Nuggets-styled garage rock in a heady stew, which comes up aces.  Produced and mixed by the band with mastering by Andy Reed (of the glorious Legal Matters), the sound is neo-vintage.

Starting with the album’s title track, you immediately hear/feel the influences – a mix of “…Mystery Tour”-era Fabs, the first “band” incarnation of The Bee Gees, some Barrett-eque undertones and a sound that recalls the style of recordings during the late ’60’s; “Cricket Time” is more of the same, with crisp riffs and a very Roy Wood/Move vibe and I need to point out that the harmonies are completely one-the-one with these gentlemen.  “Sinking Feeling” is what, in another era, would be the single and features Molly Felder on vocals – a deliciously classic pop song with acoustic guitar driving the musical body and an early ’70’s vibe; “Twelve Songs” is pop sweetness at its finest with shimmering guitars, a keyboard melody underlying and twangy riffs interspersed (listen for the organ break as well); “Selling Out” is, naturally, Lennon-esque with the piano and vocal opening and the structure; “All Day All Night” has a Dwight Twilley/Shoes vibe and is a delightful throwback to American ’70’s power-pop and “Follow The Sunshine” is a lower-volume but is a fine way to close this collection – a genuinely warm piece that suits its title and has that “feel good” emotion.

For a trio, this is a very well-fleshed out gathering of material – and certainly, The Hangabouts know their craft.  They have all the right elements of a great pop band and at this point in time, that’s more than one could hope and ask for.  Mark this one as another “must check out” – you will be very glad you did.


Kits & Cats & Saxon Wives is currently available


About the Author

Rob Ross

Rob Ross has been, for good, bad or indifferent, involved in the music industry for over 30 years - first as guitarist/singer/songwriter with The Punch Line, then as freelance journalist, producer and manager to working for independent and major record labels. He resides in Staten Island, New York with his wife and cats; he works out a lot, reads voraciously, loves Big Star and his orange Gretsch. Doesn't that make him neat?

View All Articles