Track-by-Track: Black Cat Bones – Down to the River

Ross was rather taken by Black Cat Bones’ new EP Down to the River. Lucky for us, the band asked if we’d be kind enough to publish a track-by-track feature so you could find out where all their inspiration came from. Who are we to refuse? The EP is due for release this Friday, September 29th.

Jonnie Hodson, vocalist from the band, gives us an insight into the background of the record.

Seen Better Days

This opener is a chunky song, with screaming feedback, and a heavy breakdown solo. As for the lyrics, they first came to me on the road. We were playing London, driving through the city when we saw a homeless guy surrounded by empty wine bottles, but in quite a high-end part of London. I remember saying to Rimmer “He’s seen better days” and like so many song ideas, it sat in the back of my head till the boys wrote the music. Then I think it was a flow of consciousness.


Lust is big riff, big group chorus, massive groove song. The main riff is something we’d had for a while. I’d always thought it sounded like something Aerosmith would play, it had Joe Perry written all over it. Then when the arrangement came together it sounded passionate, it sounded to me like your most primal instinct, sex! Then it was a case of putting that into lyrics, I had a lot of help with the lyrics from listening to blues classics, those boys really knew how to write filthy songs with out being explicit. I wanted the lyrics to sound like something Willie Dixon would have written.

Give You The World

This is a politically charged track. It has a massive vocal chorus, with a soulful breakdown / middle 8. This is a song that I initially had trouble writing the lyrics for. The boys had written the music, Rimmer had asked me to write it about the music business and how everyone wants to screw as much money out of bands as possible. I had that in mind but couldn’t put it into words, I was watching a lot of Tony Benn and Dennis Skinner tapes on YouTube, a lot of old socialist stuff too at the time. I remember just being so angry and the song came from that. After all the vocals were recorded I wanted to have a tape of Dennis, speaking at the beginning. The lyrics just reflect how angry I was, and still am at the establishment screwing the working man, so it’s kind of what Rimmer asked me to write it about…

Devil You Know

Next up, is ‘Devil You Know’, which is a heavy / bouncy drop D song, with a sing-along refrain. This to me is one of those songs with a few meanings, the lyrics are initially about having a situation spun, being the person defending their actions that doesn’t feel need defending. Feeling like every conversation is in front of the judge, jury and hangman. It’s also about a stick or twist, stay or go. I like songs to mean something to one person that it doesn’t to another.

The River

The River, closes the EP and it’s a big bluesy track. It has a great chorus and harmonica solo. This was a song that was written around a year before and we had put on a back burner. It wasn’t due to be on the record at all until we played it the night before the first recording session. The song to me, is about time spent at one of my favourite places, the river front on the Mersey. The lyrics had been floating around in my head for the best part of 7 years, I used to go down there pretty much every day with my mate, often with a bottle of cheap rum! We’d stay all day and into the small hours, talking and watching the world go by. You realise how small you are when you spend some time down by the river.

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