The Hourglass Cats
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The Hourglass Cats

Phoenix, Arizona, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2012

Phoenix, Arizona, United States
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Rock Reggae

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"The Hourglass Cats Shift Musically on Pair of New Singles"

The Hourglass Cats are leaning more rock 'n' roll than ever after the Saturday evening release of their two new tracks "Be That Way," and "Been Thinkin" at Tempe's C.A.S.A. SunBá. There isn't even a hint of THC's early reggae and ska influences, as the tracks go in a far more garage rock directions that almost borders on punk.

"The show went very well. It was a good time," says Cori Rios, lead singer and guitarist of THC. "You know how in Phoenix how there's always that gap between the stage and the crowd? That gap was about two inches at C.A.S.A., which is what we like and what we dig on. People I've never seen before and I know don't know our friends were, like, attentively watching our video on this 80-inch screen."



The sound is just tremendously buff with the backing of their outstanding horn players, sax man Chaz Fertal and trombone shorty Lisa Lizanec, and the full integration of drummer Johnny Groove is doing wonders for the five-piece.

They haven't fully abandoned the reggae vibe and they definitely bring some latin rhythms and other worldly sounds to the table in their live shows. But if a person were to only hear these two recordings they would definitely peg THC as garage rockers, and by the looks of the video they may just incorporate a thought or two of proto-punk.

"We have so many influences and luckily for me I have amazing musicians on my team," says Rios. "We can play whatever genre we want to play and no one wants to listen to a band that only plays one style of music anymore anyway."

The video itself was directed and conceptualized by Marcus Eden and it looks cool. The Cats are in front of a big white screen rocking out, and Eden plays around with the camera's focus, angles, and adds some pretty nifty flash effects into the video.

According to Rios, this is the first time Eden has ever worked with flash effects, and for a first-timer, it looks great. It isn't some high-concept video, but it still has a cool, modern look, and the song is really great.

"We just wanted something professional to send out to labels, and management teams, and to festivals. Something to put us outside of the Arizona scene and start making some bigger moves," says Rios.

For now the moves are a main stage appearance to open McDowell Mountain Music Festival, a video for their other newly released track "Been Thinkin," recording their new EP, which will hopefully commence in April, hitting up Colorado and California on tour, and throwing more big local shows. - New Times


"Top 5 bands to see at McDowell Mountain Music Festival 2014"

5. The Hourglass Cats – 4:30pm Saturday March 29th Local Stage
The Hourglass Cats have been producing some great music this year. With every one of their shows we’ve attended, they get better and better. We love the horn section in this band as well the lyrical style of Cori Rios. You can catch them on the Local Stage at 4:30Pm on Saturday March 29th.

4. G Love and The Special Sauce – 4:00pm Sunday March 30th Main Stage
G Love and The Special Sauce -in their original line up- is set to perform new music from the upcoming release of their new album Sugar. Check out this video below of “Nothing Quite Like Home”.

3.Jared and The Mill 11:30 AM Saturday march 29th Main Stage
Jared and the Mill is having one heck of a year by their touring and opening up for acts such as Flogging Molly. Last Year Jared and The Mill performed on the local stage at MMMf; this year they are on the main stage with Allen Stone and Dwight Yoakam.

Check out their last live video released and recorded right here in Downtown Phoenix at Last Exit Live.


2. Slightly Stupid – 7:00 Pm Saturday March 29th Main Stage
We couldn’t imagine a better main stage reggae act for MMMF 2014. They typically have some kind of major reggae band play on Saturday night, and finally MMMF has booked one of top reggae bands in the world. Slightly Stoopid has been touring their music around the world for the greater part of the last decade and more. With new music coming out all the time as well as new videos to keep us as fans wanting more. We will be jammin’ for sure Saturday around 7pm.
benhaper1

1. Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite – 8:00pm Sunday March 30th Main Stage
Grammy award winning artists Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite are bringing their “Get Up” music to AZ. Sunday will be one of the best sets on an MMMF stage by far. Talk about a lucky booking…. when Ben Harper was secured for the festival they had not won their Grammy for Best Blues Album yet. Pretty amazing that we get that kind of an ending to the “Party for the People” festival. We look forward to seeing you all there the entire weekend.

Make sure to use the hashtag #MMMF2014 and #AZmusicmatters - AZ Music Matters


"The Hourglass Cats Make You Miss Summer With A New Video at Fossil Creek"

The Hourglass Cats released their video for their single "Sense," on Monday. The video is their first from their May 2013 EP, 432. The video is a plotless ode to the summertime day trips that Phoenicians take to get out of the sweltering Phoenix heat.
"I mean, obviously, it's an Arizona thing," says lead singer Cori Rios. "If you're going to the beach, that's fake--we aren't from California, we're not going to the beach. We're going to watering holes and little oases, our version of going to the water--lakes, rivers, Sedona, whatever it is. As a Phoenix kid I've known about Fossil Creek and day-tripping to get out of the heat. You go to the water and a lot of our songs are about running to the water and getting away and escaping."
The video was directed by medical student and avid GoPro user Alex Morales, who also filmed The Hourglass Cats' videos for "Keep Stepping" and their journey through Apache Lake Music Festival, set to the music of their peers Sara Robinson and The Midnight Special, Future Loves Past and Japhy's Descent.

"'Keep Stepping' was just a random gig at ASU with a waterslide at it. It wasn't that cool of an event but Alex made it look cool," said Rios. Rios and Morales are both lifelong Phoenicians who met during their middle school years. "He's trying to become a doctor right now, so he does it for fun. He does a bunch of climbing videos and snowboarding videos too, he's just one of those GoPro guys," says Rios.
THC decided to wait to release the video because, according to Rios, "Right now the summertime looks so appealing. Like, when I watched that I really missed it. I missed being warm and it made me appreciate that even more, like Arizona can be pretty cool."
The simple, yet exciting, video that Morales and THC put together in many ways is also a reflection of The Hourglass Cats' upbeat music and live shows. It's not too complicated, it sounds terrific, it's easy to look at, and it's a whole lot of fun.
"That song, we just talked about it being in water, something with water. Then we came up with this idea of daydreaming,we were going to make a whole concept video. But we realized it would be more fun if we just did a day trip up to Fossil Creek and had a bunch of fun, did a bunch of jumps and made a video out of it."
Besides being the single of of their EP, "Sense" is also the first song that Rios ever wrote, at the ripe old age of 16. Now Rios gets to not only watch the video of the first song he ever wrote, but he also gets to hear it from time to time on the radio on KWSS 93.9.

"It's a sweet lullaby kind of song with a pop-rock chorus. I wrote it as a love song to a girl but coded as weed. I wanted it to be a fake love song where girls think it's a love song but its actually about weed." said Rios.

THC is planning to have their next single "Too Damn Rude," released, and a new music video by early 2014, as well as a completed full length album before 2015. But for now you can catch them December 14 at Last Exit Live, playing "A very Reggae Christmas" with Silver Linings, Pride Through Strife, and Oops and Mike Easy.
There is one thing, however, THC wants to make clear. "We are not a white boy reggae band," Rios tells me. "I'm fucking Mexican and we have girls." - Phoenix New Times


"Hourglass Cats-432 EP"

The Hourglass Cats describe themselves as “Funky Fresh Latin Reggae and Rock’N’Roll”, but this energetic six piece comes across as mostly good time Ska. This comes across quite clearly on the opening track for their debut EP released this summer.”Keep Steppin’” is a perfect slice of Ska that invites the fun to get started right away on the 432 EP. It also features keys courtesy of Sean Lee from The Veragroove. This brings me back to the days when the two-tone sound ruled the British Mod scene in the early 80s as the world recovered from punk in various ways. There were a lot more silly dances associated with the sound back then, but it’s probably best that part is forgotten. This is one of my favorite tracks for the sense of perfectly executed nostalgia alone. The Cats rock it out a bit harder on “Havoc”, certainly for the intro, but by the end it’s fusing Ska brilliantly with reggae and rock. As with the opener, “Havoc” is a single ready song that could gain some appreciative listeners beyond their fervent niche audience, those who like their reggae mixed with a bit of a harder edge, but the classic horn laden outro of the song makes me smile wide every time.”Sense” is the soft sweet love song in the middle of the record, an ode to a certain “Mary Jane” that grows straight from the ground, when you consider the bands initials spell out THC, it’s no surprise that the token “Love Song” is about cannabis. It also happens to be pretty brilliant. A dreamy song about getting high in no uncertain terms, it also has a fantastic power pop chorus hook that electrifies things between the mellow verses. “I love her, she loves me, what gets in the way will make yourself sorry…you need to quit clear cutting my baby down, it ain’t her fault she grows straight from the ground” is well spoken love indeed.

With a title like “Punching Puppies, Kicking Kittens” you would anticipate it being a searing rocker and you would not be wrong—this is the closest The Hourglass Cats get to straight out rock’n’roll and it stands out for its lack of latin or reggae flourishes. Not only is there some serious guitar work, the entire song revolves around a brilliant bass line reminiscent of “Ball of Confusion.” This is another single ready song and it may garner a whole different breed of listeners who may be surprised when they hear the rest of The Hourglass Cats body of work, because this song ROCKS so fucking hard. The live favorite “Yoga Butt” is an acoustic hip hop track that is great for a smile and a laugh, it’s so outrageous lyrically and completely misogynist, but presented so tongue in cheek it can’t be taken seriously. High amusement and unless you are completely devoid of a sense of humor there is no way you could be offended by this. The chorus is even delivered as if it is a loving ode and it’s not like you don’t know what they are talking about. You may even find yourself singing “She’s got a Yoga Butt, It makes me want to say ‘What’s Up’”, laughing all the while. The hidden track “The Prospector” closes out the EP in a live acoustic performance recorded from a session on the KWSS show Driving With Gass. It’s a great song and I hope a studio version finds its way to their next album or EP, but this recording proves that The Hourglass Cats can hold their own when stripped down to bare bones on a live radio show. The 432 EP is a fun filled document of The Hourglass Cats and its six songs display their talents quite well. If you think the EP is great, you should check out the uproarious live shows. One of these is coming up on Friday at Last Exit Live, please see all the details below. - Java Magazine


"3 Ways To Get Your Funk On"

When I first checked out THC's music on their Bandcamp page, what I noticed first was the extensive use of the number 432. Not only is it the name of their debut EP, the price of the album is $4.32, and it was described as being recorded in 432 Hz. Now I don't know about you but I had to look into this. So while I put the album on and began grooving to "Sense," I did a quick internet search on 432 Hz. At least I thought it would be quick. I ended up falling down the rabbit hole of Pythagorean tuning and the conspiracy behind switching the note of "A" from 432 Hz to 440 Hz (and thus every note by a difference of 8 Hz) following the persuasion of J.C. Deagan (inventor of the xylophone, aluminum chimes, orchestra bells, marimba and many other instruments) and Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels. Sounds nuts right? Well apparently music in "A432" frequency provides a natural resonance throughout the body and that the seemingly ever-present degradation of our American society is due to the fact that music for the last 100 years or so has all been in "A440" and it has slowly demoralized our entire state with the universe. By the time I got to "Yoga Butt", the last track of 5 songs, I was completely hooked on THC's Slighly Stoopid-esque vibe and neck deep in researching the 432 Hz phenomenon! Thanks a lot, Hourglass Cats. Check out their EP here. - YabYum Music


"METROnome: McDowell Mountain Music Festival in review"

Another notable band was The Hourglass Cats, a local band the opened the festival on the main stage. Even with a smaller crowd, the group delivered a lively performance of reggae-inspired music — a wonderful set that convinced me to dive deeper into their music. - Downtown Devil


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

The Hourglass Cats are a Desert Reggae & RockNRoll collective based out of Phoenix, AZ. Formed in 2011 by frontman Cori Rios, The Hourglass Cats’ consists of Chaz Fertal (Saxophone), Lisa Lizanec (Trombone), Jason Sessler (Bass), Johnny Groove (Drums). The aforementioned Rios, whom Jeff Moses of Phoenix New times referred to as a “Bona-fide Rock Star” at last years Apache Lake Music Festival where they performed an “unforgettable” set, has been writing his own music since he was 16 years old. 

In 2013 The Hourglass Cats released their debut 432 EP to an incredible response and esteemed reviews. With Modern Times calling it “one of the most fun listens of the summer” and YabYum hailing it for it’s complex journey into the world of 432 hz. They followed up their EP with a slew of singles throughout 2014, including the critically acclaimed and spectacularly catchy “Too Damn Rude”. Described as not just catchy, but “the composition of the sax, keys and trombone are startlingly brilliant” cementing the idea that The Hourglass Cats are a musical force to be reckoned with. 

THC kicked off 2015 with new music and a new sound with their release of 2 singles recorded at Loud Audio, one accompanied by an artsy video of silhouettes in the form of “Be That Way” directed by Marcus Eden. Dubbed as “leaning more Rock n’ Roll than ever” The Hourglass Cats are on their way to becoming one of Phoenix’s premiere bands. Having most recently performed on the Main Stage at Mcdowell Mountain Music Festival, The Hourglass Cats have toured the west coast and southwest regions including California, Texas, and even as far south as parts of Mexico. They have twice headlined an AZ showcase at SXSW and have shared bills with Passion Pit, Portugal The Man, Slightly Stoopid, STRFKR, Allen Stone, Dispatch, Tribal Seeds, and more! THC has regular radio play and repeat appearances on various radio stations around the valley including KUKQ Phoenix, KWSS 93.9 FM, Melange Cafe Online Radio and KJZZ Phoenix 91.5 FM.

Cori Rios, Guitar & Vocals
Jason Sessler, Bass & Vocals
Chaz Fertal, Tenor Sax, Percussion & Vocals
Lisa Lizanec, Trombone & Vocals
Johnny Groove, Drums and Percussion