1993, Music, Uncategorized

Chrome (1993) by Catherine Wheel

When a band is named after a song or an album, and you know that song or album, there’s definitely a bit of expectation even if you don’t know much else about it. Maybe this band is named for the torture device, not the David Byrne album, but yet I still assumed there would be some kind of Byrne/Heads influence here.

So I was more than a little surprised when I was confronted by something somewhere on the shoegaze spectrum (albeit considerably more “rock” than most shoegaze bands I know).

But after a listen or two, I got over whatever silly expectations I have, so I hope I can now appreciate it for what it is.

As I noted, these guys are on the rock side of the shoegaze spectrum, in the sense that they owe more to alternative rock and classic rock traditions than most UK shoegaze bands – who are often performing ridiculously loud songs, which are still pop songs at their core. I like rock more than I like pop, and so the appeal to me is stronger with Catherine Wheel than with some other bands in this area.

I also like diversity and this record is relatively diverse compared to some shoegaze, another point in its favour.

I’m not 100% sure the songwriting is quite as strong as it would need to be for me to get really excited about it, though the melodies are catchy enough.
I also think that with a stronger singer they might be really fantastic.

Still, I don’t mind this at all, and I’m definitely interested in checking out some of their other music, given what this record sounds like.

7/10

All songs written by Rob Dickinson and Brian Futter.

  1. “Kill Rhythm” – 3:51
  2. “I Confess” – 3:56 “
  3. Crank” – 3:45
  4. “Broken Head” – 4:43
  5. “Pain” – 6:31
  6. “Strange Fruit” – 3:06
  7. “Chrome” – 3:53
  8. “The Nude” – 3:51
  9. “Ursa Major Space Station” – 5:09
  10. “Fripp” – 7:34
  11. “Half Life” – 4:08
  12. “Show Me Mary” – 3:19
  • Rob Dickinson – vocals, guitar
  • Brian Futter – guitar, vocals
  • Dave Hawes – bass guitar
  • Neil Sims – percussion
  • Tim Friese-Greene – Hammond organ

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