Not So New Release Tuesday: Catherine Wheel "Chrome"
Joe and I first discovered Catherine Wheel at a Live (the band) show in Hershey. They were filling in for Veruca Salt. At first I was disappointed, not knowing much about the replacement and going on what little knowledge I had from MTV (before the internet, folks!). They played mostly off of the album out at the time, Happy Days. It was a show that I will never forget. From this, came the discovery of their previous work.
It is difficult to go backwards sometimes. After listening to Happy Days mostly straight forward hard pop/rock approach, it was a big departure to listen to Chrome. A little bit slower than its follower, relying less on the straight guitar melody riff and more on the fuzz and feedback, but it still has a similar edginess to it. The constant is Rob Dickinson's voice, breathy and melodic, sounding like it should be in an acoustic pop band rather than over droning guitars and keyboards. The lyrics are difficult to truly grasp at times, sometimes needing a quick look at the sheet to see exactly what was being sung, and even when reading along, it may not make much sense.
While no one song truly is the stand out on the album, each song evokes something different. The Nude is dark, yet it has an airy feel to it when Dickinson slides into his falsetto. The straight up pop of Show Me Mary, is the best attempt for the straight to radio sound. Crank, the best track on the album (IMO), is brooding, with a constant guitar riff in the background behind the dream-like, plaintive vocals. The album can seem repetitive to some and sound like most British acts of the time, but in comparison to those bands, it definately holds its own.
Show Me Mary
Check out the CW live show that Joe posted several weeks ago.
Other Not So New Releases:
The Cure: Disintegration
G. Love and Special Sauce
Pulp: Different Class