Catalina Shortwave is a band that thumbs its nose at genres. The band who claim they are proudly lo-fi, draw from punk, R&B, hard rock and country, and not necessarily in that order, find the strength of their songs in the passion of its performances. The players – Brent, Marty and Dave are three New York/New England music veterans who weave their hearts and lives into their music.
For their debut recording, >>Repeater>>, Catalina Shortwave have developed a sound all their own that only comes from musicians playing together as a true collective -everyone shares the same musical goal and the song is more important than the individual participants.
Songwriting is the key, and the band deliver with original, quality compositions. The 15 genre-breaking tracks that make up >>Repeater>>, shows a band with confidence, who are comfortable at contemporarily running the crossover gauntlet of R&B, southern rock, hard rock and punk. That in itself is a courageous feat for any band. Not to mention one on its debut!
Whether the choice is commercially ‘correct’ or not, will depend entirely on the awaiting market. But my impression is that Catalina Shortwave couldn’t give two hoots about the marketing math and are more concerned about doing their primary thing. Which is playing music, and boy do they do it well!
The coolest thing about >>Repeater>>, is that you can listen to it from either end; on repeat, on shuffle, back to back, and just about any other possible way you can. The result is always the same. The album sounds like a radio station, playing the pick of the best bands and songs of our time. I practically heard The Doors, then The Allman Brothers Band. Johnny Cash also came up, as did Nirvana, Tom Petty, Grank Funk Railroad and REM. Damn, I’m sure I even heard Kenny Rogers and Aerosmith in the same song! I think it was on “There Ain’t Much Goin’ On But The Bottle”.
The obvious peculiarity being, that these were all original compositions and performances by Catalina Shortwave!
Brent Morton, Marty Stauffer and David Rizzo truly deal out a lavish diversity of authentic styles that sweep up influences from the 60s and 70s right through until today. Uncompromisingly and unabashedly, they play DIY rock n’ roll that shifts the tone away from perfect, crystalline productions to raw, organic rock creativity. This once was the true essence of rock n’ roll; before some over-blown, big-headed and totally over-rated beings called ‘Producers’ came along to turn a creatively explosive genre into a docile assembly-line.
Catalina Shortwave break the mold, in probably the most difficult period in the history of rock n’ roll. Technology and ‘Producers’ are fundamental to today’s music, especially as the only instruments most current ‘musicians’ are only capable of playing, are Qwerty keyboards and iPad touchscreens.
Catalina Shortwave sound like a garage band knocking the heck out of real instruments. They play, they sing and they really produce creativity that sounds like it comes from another era. This much is evidenced on standout songs like “Running On Vapor”, “You Rained Hell On Me”, “Wintersong”, “Starstruck”, “Make Through The Night” and “Don’t Never Take Your Love Away”.
From start to finish this is one beautiful piece of work. There are no dead spots or let downs in this collection…just one great musical piece after another. >>Repeater>> has great variety and pacing, and not a thing misses its mark for me.