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Local CD spotlight: Ocelot

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There's something creepy about The Quiet Storm, Ocelot's second effort (first on local label Moodswing). Like a good soundtrack, each song reflects the mood and landscape of that point in the story. Intentional or not, the record echoes the band's evolution and what guitarist Kenyon Tavares calls "the shit that was going on with us."

When Ocelot is at its core -- call it the storm part of The Quiet Storm -- Mackenzie Cole's swirling drums (as on "A Principle or a Butterfly") produce explosive chaos, while Brian Harris' steady bass twists and turns a sense of mystery right to the gut (as on "Throwing Away a Perfectly Good White Boy") and Tavares' and Aaron Mason's guitars thrash in near-perfect time ("Kentucky Waterfall").

With no lyrics breaking up the swelling waters, The Quiet Storm leaves room for the imagination of the listener to flow inside the band's many chemicals and emotions. But just as you've begun to draw your own conclusions about the direction this story is heading comes the quiet part of The Quiet Storm. While Ocelot tone down the volume here, these moments are even more powerful and emotive. On "Things with Molecular Structure," Brian's melodic bass notes and the crash of an ocean in the background marks the dynamic shift, while on the penultimate "Tiphareth," Mason's tender guitar glides Ocelot toward peaceful closure. With the title song finale, haunting sounds and smooth saxophone (courtesy of the Purkinje Shift's Ben Davis) leave the listener hanging on a string, waiting and wondering where Ocelot will go from here.

Ocelot plays at its CD release party Wed., July 4, at the Star Bar.

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