The Catheters

Howling grows suckier and suckier the longer you think about it.

When the Catheters first came out of Seattle in 1999, they seemed destined for greatness. While there was nothing remarkable about their eponymous debut, it did hold promise, full as it was of bleak, energetic rock and roll songs capped off by the ferocious howl of Brian Standeford.

Subsequent touring with the Murder City Devils brought the attention of major labels, who unsuccessfully courted the band. Instead, the Catheters chose to release their next album on hometown hip factory Sub Pop. Static Delusions and Stone Still-Days was the result, and, with its murky production and focused songwriting, that record saw the lads progressing toward a sound of their own, if not quite attaining one.

Still, back then, the Catheters were a band trying to find their way. It's sad to report, then, that now they're just lost. Maybe it's because earlier members -- who, in hindsight, brought a lot to the table -- have been excised. Or maybe it's because Standeford's vocals sound worn and watered-down, and the songs are just your typical new-millennium garage-rock revival crap that everyone is doing these days. Just look inside the sleeve of the CD and gaze upon the shabbily dressed yet oh-so-retro-chic members with a geeky Bob Ross in the mix. Pretty much tells you all you need to know…

It would have been better if the Catheters had signed with a major, 'cause at least then it would make sense for them to put out such a boring, uninspired album. No longer do these kids know how to rock. -- Jason Gagnon

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