Swallow Your Teeth
posted on 9/2009 By:
Uh oh. It looks like we got Indie Rock Review’s mail again, because Richmond Virginia’s The Catalyst is most definitely not a metal band. The music on the band’s debut, Swallow Your Teeth, is essentially noisy hardcore with some psychedelic elements thrown in on occasion. Were I a fan of this type of music, I am sure I could make all sorts of comparisons to similar bands, but I am not. As a metal fan I can tell that it sounds very little like Black Sabbath, Slayer or Iron Maiden. It does remind me a little of Black Flag, but only in the vaguest sense (Sorry, a thirty year old reference is the best I could come up with.).
For most of the album The Catalyst rattles, bangs, squawks and squeals through two minute punk barrages, with cheeky titles like “Assholier than Thou” and “Lars Ulrich’s 1986 Funeral.” Singer/Guitarist Ed O’Neill (of Married with Children fame) brings little to the table melody wise, offering mostly tuneless yelling and screaming, but he sounds remarkably youthful for a sixty three year old man. A few brief chugging riffs are the album’s only real references to metal, but The Catalyst are not exactly light weights: The band’s songs are dark, intense and aggressive.
On a handful of tracks The Catalyst employ a slower, moodier, but no less intense approach, and it is on these tracks that the band’s psychedelic leanings shine through. The hazy space rock jam "42012" features a pleasant breezy groove, and some of the most melodic guitar work on the record. The seven minute “Were Wolves of Washington” takes a similar approach, but with a more menacing vibe, complimented by some exquisitely tortured, yet tasteful guitar howls.
In all likelihood, I will never listen to this record again, but The Catalyst has spunk and grit, and I can respect that. If you are looking for metal, Swallow Your Teeth is not for you. If, however, you are looking for noisy, psychedelic hardcore, what the Hell are you doing at Metal Review?
Register to post comments.