There’s just something about Catholic Action that oozes effortless cool; maybe it’s front man Chris McCrory’s L’Oréal-ready hair, maybe it’s their sartorial nod to The Velvet Underground (all monochrome stripes and dark denim), or maybe it’s simply their consistent knack for a good pop hook.
Latest single ‘Doing Well’, recorded and produced by McCrory himself and mixed by Tom Longworth, takes stock of the band’s current situation, riding the tidal successes of last year’s singles ‘L.U.V.’ and ‘Rita Ora’ and steering their way towards the bright horizons of 2017’s festival circuit.
Kicking off with a jangly riff and head-nodding bass, the song urges us to shed our distractions: “Turn off your television stare into the sun / scream at me undo the damage done.”
While confronting listeners with frequent bouts of raw feeling, Catholic Action always translate such emotion into tight, catchy rhythms that make their jagged mark while leaving us thirsty for more.
They’ve admitted to toying with nonsense lyrics before (see: ‘Rita Ora’), but on ‘Doing Well’, the straight-up confessional works at the level of an existential pat on the back as much as a playful cavort through rock’n’roll tropes: “we capsized the love boat / derailed the soul train / caught up in your fish-nets / I’ll choke upon your name”.
It’s got the underlying frenzy of a post-punk beat, building in speed towards the end as the lead guitar twirls over a neat, sweet solo, but there’s also that clean sound, the snappy chorus that cherry tops a respectable slice of indie pop.
Combining a flair for glam’s flamboyance with the sugary formulas of good clean indie, Catholic Action certainly have something special going on.
With a sweet-toothed hook, bright melodies and rhythms you could do more than nod your head to, ‘Doing Well’ proves the band are well on their way to becoming Glasgow’s new musical darlings—a successful UK tour under their belts and a new deal with independent label Modernsky already in the bag.
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Words: Maria Sledmere