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Cats On Fire

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Cats on Fire, a shambling Finnish twee group whose nostalgic tunes nod to the Smiths, the Wedding Present, and the Orchids, thanks in no small part to lead singer Mattias Bjorkas' warbly, Morrissey-esque croon, formed in Vasa, Finland, in 2001. The group underwent several lineup shifts in its formative years, but finally solidified in 2004 with Bjorkas, guitarist Ville Hopponen, bassist Kenneth Höglund, and drummer Henry Ojala. The band's first release, a four-track vinyl-only affair called Solid Work, came out on Elva Records in 2003, and was followed up in 2004 by an EP, Happiness Is Chemistry. Another EP, Drawing in the Reins, was released on Sweden's Fraction Discs two years later. Cats on Fire were snapped up by Germany's Marsh-Marigold on the strength of that disc, and their debut full-length, The Province Complains, was released on that label in early 2007. As Cats on Fire's reputation grew, they caught the attention of American indie Matinée Recordings, which released Our Temperance Movement in 2009 and Dealing in Antiques the following year. The band was able to tour stateside and in 2012 released its fourth LP, All Blackshirts to Me. ~ Margaret Reges

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