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Nequient Trusts Their Vonne-Gut on “Cat’s Cradle”

Nequient WATD cover1

I’ve read a good amount of Kurt Vonnegut novels, but Cat’s Cradle isn’t one of them. Too bad, because I’d probably be better able to connect Chicago crust-deathers Nequient’s newest song “Cat’s Cradle” to the novel’s mainframe. The group wrote the track about the story, and the song’s speed is particularly Vonnegut-ish: breezy while utterly hard. The composition is barreling and misanthropic, like many a good Vonnegut tale; and is certainly a worthy take at honoring one hell-of-a-good writer who always seemed right on the edge of fantasy and reality. Nequient is aware of this precarious line, and “Cat’s Cradle” — a new single from their upcoming full-length Wolves at the Door — rips hard in its apocalyptic hue.

Last vestiges of civilization
Swallowed by self-immolation.
Enlightenment and inclusion
Prove a vacant façade.

The lyrics to “Cat’s Cradle” follow the Vonnegut tale, but also can be applied to today’s hyper-real universe. Listening to “Cat’s Cradle” brings to mind how important it is to be physically here. Meaning this: put the fucking Facebook and Instagram down for a second and look at the sky. Walk the beach. Pick up a guitar and plug it into some dirty, shitty amp and blast it. Vonnegut didn’t live on the ocean for nothing: he knew that breeze was all life and all things. Likewise, Nequient sound like they play with that breeze in mind: “Cat’s Cradle” offers speed and layers that are natural and lush. The recording is crisp, but with some nice gruff. It’s also perpetually linear. There’s no stepping back, or calling a timeout.

No room for doubt – just guile.
The confidence of the vile.
Insularity, xenophobia
Have their day in nuclear glare.

While “Cat’s Cradle” rushes through sections without hesitation, looking at the lyrics proves it’s serious: the more you listen, the more crystal the connectivity becomes. Vocalist Jason Kolkey’s shrieks are piercing and character-driven. The song works in a storybook sort of way. Vonnegut always had the end of the world on his mind, and how could he not: he survived a bombing that killed an estimated 25,000 people.

Cat’s Cradle deals with Ice Nine, a polymorph of water that melts at 45.8 Celsius, instead of the normal 0 Celsius. In the story, it was designed to aid the military, but instead becomes the central “doomsday” theme of the novel. So, Nequient’s chaotic nature throughout the song is apt. This is a maddening time. Vonnegut’s deft humor probably also made him quite afraid: many of his visions, in many ways, have played out in real time. Nequient reminds us of the thin line we all walk on Earth. Get out and rip while you can.

Wolves at the Door releases on May 18th via Nefarious Industries.

Photo by: Nicolas Côté
Photo by: Nicolas Côté

Upcoming shows:
5/18 7th Street Space -– DeKalb, IL
5/19 The Sarcophogus -– Minneapolis, MN
5/20 LiveWire Lounge -– Chicago, IL

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