Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Caterwaul - Portent Hue - 1990

This is the first of four back to back "WTF" posts over the next four days.

I first heard this group driving back from class my freshman year in college.  Their song Manna & Quail was sandwiched between Don't Slow Down by the Hollow Men, and It's Heaven by the Railway Children.  A great mix with perfect segues.  I found it shortly after on cassette at Twisters Records and played it pretty consistantly in my car for the Spring semester of 1991.  The album as a whole is "good", but I was always more interested in listening to Side Two, rather than Side One.  Starting with Manna & Quail, followed by Big Ox Laughing and Seven Rabbits, the album really kicks fucking ass.

It surprised me to learn that the group was from Arizona.  Don't know why, but it did.  Possibly because the album covers always reminded me of Industrial or Gothic or Post Punk album covers, and those bands were generally from Europe or Canada.  From Arizona, though?  Why the hell would they feel the need to sing like that in Arizona?  It would be like listening to Country music in a Japanese Karaoke Bar - just silly.  The music is definitely a Post Punk/Gothic/Hard Rock sound.  And Betsy's vocals remind me a little of a female Robert Plant or Steven Tyler with head injuries.  A lot of howling and other somewhat distressful noises.

But, it all works.  the music is great.  

If you haven't heard these guys before, and feel the urge to try it out, do it carefully.  If you can't really get it within the first song or two, then skip forward to Manna & Quail and the following songs, and you'll see why I like this album.  It's truly a good one.

1 comment:

  1. i have heard the name of these guys but never tried them. thank you i have been listening on spotify on your recommendation. the first album i seem to like most in the first 30 minutes. i always like band's older stuff better, always said that and friends laughed.they sound at times like throwing muses to me. as far as your arizona comment i have to laugh, the cover has a steer head on it! thanks for this excellent blog.