July 15, 2016

EP: Caterwall - In A Week's Time

Swim with the sharks on Caterwall's new EP.

There is a spot in the ocean just under the surface, where the light flows through just enough and you are not quite in the big deep dark yet. In this perfect middle point, where the rippling waves create distortions in vision and a brilliant, glaring orb shines from above to illuminate right up until the shadow underneath, complicated red lines follow sharks as they swim in intricate formations. Swaying with the beat, fast tempo'd, more bright and mellow than you would expect any shark to be. This is how I felt when I put on In A Weeks Time by West Coast band Caterwall. A lot of bands get thrown into the “surf rock” genre too quickly. At first, we see fast rhythms, music you can dance to, and washed out vocals, but some bands like Caterwall go a bit deeper than that. They transcend surf rock and call on inspirations from instrumental orchestrations from all your favorite post-rock bands to create something accessible and poppy but also extremely layered. Surfing only takes you so far beyond the beach, some listening experiences are instead, a voyage.

However, let's return back to the shark analogy, that is exactly how this short EP starts; soft, but with teeth. “For The Neighbors” is either a mission statement for making art for arts sake, or a lamentation of the rat race and binaries that keep some musical acts from launching into stardom while others easily bypass into fame. I would imagine (as with most good songs) its a little of column A, a little of column B. The panning guitars are exciting but comfortable and welcoming. Listening to the first few measures, you can already tell this is a band that would shred live. A particular standout on In A Weeks Time is "Wednesday," a slow-paced song that still retains the band's general groove. The vocals are a bit less hidden under reverb, and the guitars take a little break from their impressive lead lines to make way for calmness to shine through a bit more. The other songs on the EP feel like the players are being impressive, being excited, and drawing us in. "Wednesday," on the other hand, feels more like the band is taking time to be kind to themselves, for themselves, and for folks who already love them. Its a nice cycle back to the possible themes for the beginning of the album, asking questions hidden in between the lines of lyrics like: “What is art for?”, “Who is art for?”. Let this EP sink a little deeper into your blood and maybe you can find out the answers.


Listen to Caterwall on bandcamp

Ruune is an ex-nomadic performer/current village witch living in New England. You can find their twitter during some moon phases at @ruunemagick.