Tag Archives: Catholic Action

Catholic Action & Poor Things Split [Fuzzkill Records]

Catholic Action have already been making waves through the UK music scene even though their existence, in the grand scheme of Scottish music, has been brief.

‘L.U.V.’ finds its feet firmly in the danceable indie/alternative wave that seems to take over the UK in the 00s, however the band’s affinity for heavier groups also seems to live on in the crunching and wailing guitars that speckle the surface of the song.

At points the track breaks out of its danceable groove to give way to more outlandish influences and even features homage to Thin Lizzy in the form of a guitar solo.

‘Halfway Home’ serves up a decidedly more laid back piece of angst, with a firm side of jangling lead guitar wrapped around the midsection.

Both tracks contributed from Catholic Action show off distinctly different sides of their work, but they both weave interesting melodic work and exceptional production, for a band of their level to sound this precise and sure of themselves is a rarity.

Poor Things make up the other half of this EP and already have an LP under their belts, with another one already in the works.

They contribute two alternative pop gems to the split in question, ‘Sugar’ and ‘Friends’

Listening to the band will immediately draw comparisons to massively influential bands like Pavement and Weezer.

Most bands nowadays tend to count both of those amongst influences however, so that in and of itself is nothing special, it’s really the fusion of those two influences and others from the same era that really make the tracks shine.

‘Sugar’ clearly involves taking a vocal style from Malkmus, but at the same time the absolutely screaming lead guitar that interjects the sweet vocal harmonies like something J Mascis would conjure up.

The arrangement is sublime, following a typical slacker rock archetype there are breaks that really let the track breathe and make that chorus hook all the sweeter.

The second contribution, ‘Friends’, shows the band has a firm grasp of dynamics starting off with a sparse arrangement before exploding into another razor sharp guitar line.

Lyrically the song tackles something that everyone tends to go through, friends growing apart and gradually seeing each other less.

The subject isn’t something that’s tackled regularly and it’s nice to see a band with such a command of melody and lyricism writing about it.

Both sides of this EP draw from different time periods of music and a fairly diverse set of influences. If someone wrote down on paper what these bands were offering and said they were on a split EP together you’d be a bit unsure of the result, but I’m pleased to say that they both go together great. Each provides a contrast to the other and it keeps things fresh that way, the one thing they do have in common is that they are primed for more success if these tracks are anything to go by.

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Words: Phil Allen

Under The Covers Valentines Compilation [Fuzzkill]

Fuzzkill Records are becoming a force of nature on the Glasgow music scene, putting out releases by a wide array of great local bands, throwing the odd party of a show and generally just enjoying the well-deserved success that has been growing for a good while now.

This Valentines special cover comp is indicative of a label that’s in good form, one that gets to pull off the good idea for a good cause (all donations going to charity) and gets to bring together the roster and associates alike.

More importantly, for the bands themselves it’s a chance to have a good old legitimate chance at doing a favoured song, everybody in the hunt to do a good tribute.

I had the pleasure of playing with The Bellybuttons back a few months ago and I really dug on them, I loved the sound, so it was a pleasure to hear them open proceedings, doting their hat in a fine fashion to Arthur Alexander on ‘Anna (Go To Him)’.

The dreamy guitar lines here doing all the right things in place of the piano, good sincere vocals and all round a great cover.

Much loved PAWS bring a wonderful ‘Sea Of Love’ to the table, very distinctive in their style, and a short and definitely sweet effort.

I’m always pleased to see anyone cover Teenage Club, Pinact doing the right thing by being the band to do it here with a great no frills cover of the classic ‘Sparky’s Dream’.

The Beatles get representation in the form of ‘I Will’ as Poor Things do a buzzing and punk rock rendition.

Some choices are more eclectic and to great effect.

My hat goes off to The Shithawks for hitting the ball out of the park with the manic ‘She’s Like The Wind’ by Patrick Swayze.

Indeed some of the choices here I’ve not heard before, and my thanks to Catholic Action for introducing me to Emitt Rhodes, and hopefully some more people too with the cracking ‘Somebody Made For Me’.

A compilation should be well rounded, and here in this great mix of obscure and more known choices we get different styles of interpretations to others (see Tuff Love’s great lo-fi version of ‘Lovely Day’), but with the more straight up covers, of all the bands playing to their strengths, SHARPTOOTH’s brilliant Shangri-Las cover of ‘Remember Walkin’ In The Sand’ really does the song and themselves justice.

When you got the voices for it, this haunting and infectious tune is all yours: the building shimmering chords, the clicks and clatters over the grooving bass, the striking melancholy of the lyrics.

This album has a good and hearty selection of songs with something for everybody, a recommend listen for sure.

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Words: Matthew Thomas