Buyer beware: The title to this, the third full-length album from The Catheters, is only half accurate, and if you're at all familiar with this band you probably already suspect the gerund part to be true and the declarative portion a lie. For while The Catheters do indeed howl and howl, not a spot of growth is to be found here. In fact, they're regressing.
Whether this matters at all is up to the individual listener, of course. To this one it does, especially considering just how much I dug 2002's Static Delusions and Stone-Still Days, which rocked hard, fast and heavy while throwing out some head-banging hooks. On the new album, guitars riff, drums pound, the bass plods, and the singer yowls but nothing gels.
And then you realize that this isn't garage rock. It's carport rock
Because just as a carport really really really wants to be a garage but isn't, this edition of The Catheters wants to be included in a "Nuggets" compilation, but can't come to grips with the fact that they've arrived decades too late. They present a desperate caricature throughout this album, from the ridiculous cover art (a painting of a woman who looks like a 1960s flight attendant wearing a fishbowl-style space helmet holding a transparent sphere containing a skull while standing in front of a volcano that's being bombarded by lightning) to the mono-esque, all-pots-cranked-to-11 production to the purely plodding, uninspired songs.
Am I taking all of this too seriously? Probably. So let's cut to the chase: Dude,
The Catheters rock. If that's all that you need, go for it. If you want something
more, check out some of the bands receiving laudatory reviews elsewhere in Neumu's
reviews section. You'll be glad you did.