In Utero accompanied today's 25-minute drive to Torrefazione, a small Italian café I often call my second home. Skipping through my six options, I reluctantly decided on Nirvana. Lately, I'm so bored with music. Even Nirvana even Nirvana weren't doing anything for me. "What's happened to me?!" I asked myself. "What in God's name is going on here?!"
I don't understand it. See, I've never quite felt like this before. For example, in the past, if I arrived at the gym and realized I forgot my Walkman, no question I'd get right back in the car and go home and get it. You think I'm gonna withstand 30 minutes of sweat and pain without some tunes to push me through? No way! Well, that's how I used to feel. These days, my ears hurt. I don't care. I'll listen to the hums of the other exercise machines before I sift through my CD book from front to back then back to front, again and again. Foolishly, I consistently hope one CD will grab my attention and exclaim, "Pick me! I'll make you happy! I'll make you forget you're even exercising! I'll make you feel like you're flying!" But again and again, I am let down. So now I say, why bother? I'll just end up settling on something. I don't want to settle on an album. I want to be excited about it, like I used to be. Instead, I zone in on the odd clicking sound my stepping machine's pedal keeps making and wonder if it's gonna give out and I'm gonna fall off.
Nowadays, I sit and read the paper without touching the stereo. I check my email without slapping a CD on first. I eat dinner without background music. I sit here today without my headphones on. It makes me sad. Where has my passion and love for music gone? And how do I get it back? Albums like Static Delusions and Stone-Still Days by The Catheters help a little. Because if their heavy punk-rock sound can, at the very least, grab my attention, I wonder how much more it could excite me if I were in another state of mind, if I were behaving like the music-lover I know I am. I'm betting a lot more. Even though Johnny Cash is playing right now here at the coffeehouse, the headphones are going on. I suppose it's only fair I listen to the album in order to inform you, dear reader, of its content.
If you're anything like me, you like your punk rock hard, heavy and raw. And maybe you're bored with most of today's punk rock that replicates itself like products on a factory line's conveyor belt. I don't care if it's spawn by a millionaire major or a basement indie, punk rock repeats itself everywhere, and it gets tiresome. But without such dull sameness among many punk-rock acts, The Catheters might not stand out like they do. Their sound is dark and shattering. Lead singer/guitarist Brian Standeford howls and shrieks a little like Moody Spencer (former lead of the now defunct Murder City Devils), but only a little; he's his own man, vocally and otherwise. Feedback from the dual guitars reverberates like that heard on old Misfits songs. The low, thumping drum beats bring heaviness to Static Delusions, steering clear of any pop influence that might otherwise be present. And the muddled, lo-fi production maintains static-fed edginess throughout the album. It's an awesomely powerful deviation from the norm, rocking hard, heavy and raw.
And, hey, the headphones are still on. Yeah! I may revert to my music-less ways, but absence makes the heart grow fonder (or so they say). I think In Utero will sound amazing again. It's just a phase (as they also say) and when I snap out of it, Static Delusions is gonna really rock my socks off.