Released: 1999, Independent/US Records
Moving from the realm of death, we go to the Cali-fried rock of Catchin’ 22. Happily, this Canadian band is starting to make some waves in the metal scene, even stealing some airplay in their native Quebec. Hell, I can’t complain, as these guys are obviously hard workers and are gonna deserve every inch that they gain. Overall, I’d say that Catchin’ 22 ride the same sleazy wave that the underrated L.A. Guns did back in the late 80’s. There’s an undeniable stench of street underbelly riding through songs like “N.Y.C.” and “Year of the Gun”. It may not be the most popular type of metal, but it certainly is a nice change of pace from the typical blackened death monsters that are currently polluting our ears. ‘Sides, what’s wrong with just rockin’ every once in awhile?
While the band does have some sweet grooves and some cool rockers, they do tend to fall into the atypical hard rock trap: sameness. Songs like “Since You’ve Been Gone” (power ballad) and “The Greater Cause” have heard-it-all before quality that is hard to shake. But hell, you get to a great rocker like “Harder” and all is forgiven. What’s also nice is that lead vocalist/rhythm guitarist/band spokesman Paul Souza doesn’t have one of those annoyingly high and whiny voices that tends to ruin most of these kind of bands. His vocals are refreshingly mid-pitched and only whip out the dog whistles for special effect (see the last minute or so of “Year of the Gun”). Another nice feature of the band is the unusually forceful presence of bass in the mix.
So basically, what Catchin’ 22 do is provide you with some ass-kickin’ rock tunes that are perfect for summer cruisin’ and beer drinkin’. I know I’ve got no complaints, ‘cause everyone needs a break from the heartbursting power of the death and black scenes. Well, consider Catchin’ 22 a great alternative. Email: email@example.com