Wednesday, Juy 1, 1992 - The Michigan Daily Summer Weekly - 3
Q] 'I don't at all like knowing what people say of me behind my back. It makes
OT one far too conceited.'
- Oscar Wilde
Wheel burn rubber
by Annette Petruso
Weekly, it seems, a "new" British
bliss band is signed by an American
label, releases a months-old product,
and tours soon after only to be thought
of as identical to every other bliss band
after they've left (the exception being
My Bloody Valentine, of course).
Though Catherine Wheel's timing
may lump them in with Lush, Ride,
Slowdive, Curve even, Catherine
Wheel's impressive American debut
Ferment is more earthy than ethereal,
assaultive within the context of songs
rather than captured moments of rap-
"Our music is more based in ... a
traditional song mold," explains
Dickinson (first cousin to Bruce
Dickinson of the seminal metal band
Iron Maiden, how cool!).
"I do think if we have anything in
comparison with (My Bloody Valen-
tine), our attitudes are equally, if not
more, left of center as theirs are. But
those ideas are funneled more into a
classic song rather than four or five
minutes of over-the-top noise.
"It was the idea when we made the
album to make a record which wasn't
boring, wasn't like overpowering after
ten or fifteen minutes, where you're
just confronted by this excessive wall
of sound of guitars and all the rest of it.
"We wanted to make arecord which
had the power to be awesome, but also
... had dynamicsandtookyoudown all
the roads which led you through the
album and let you listen to the records
as whole, for forty-five minutes."
Though Ferment is awesome, the
album relies on the simple repeated
chords, heavy on the repetition, that
Catherine Wheel aren't a single-syl-
lable, one-word named band, the sim-
plicity of sound (and having five of the
12 song titles on the album being one
word) tether them tightly to the move-
however, is more than writing solid,
meaningful songs, but a roundabout
link to guitar rock. The single "Black
Metallic" showcases an intro straight
outof Americanaltemative collegerock,
and the song as whole could make
Catherine Wheel the next hero band (A
la U2, The Alarm, Big Country) -the
first bliss band with such potential.
The words to "Black Metallic" are
subtle yet mature, and quite the oppo-
site of angst rock, they don't feel sorry
for themselves. But, as Dickinson says,
"A lot of our stuff seems to be quite
direct on the surface ... but at the same
time, it means something totally dif-
ferent. It could mean almost the total
opposite if you view it in a certain way
... I've always seen ("Black Metallic")
asmeaning something differentthanits
obvious meaning," which is "about
being cruel to your best friend."
On the rest of Ferment, though, the
lyrics aren't as easy to understand. It's
kind of like a Robert Altman film when
there are many people talking at the
same time - the band makes sure you
hear the key words, but you have to
listen hard for the less important dia-
"She's My Friend" is the perfect
example of not being able to make out
many of the words besides the chorus,
yetgetting ameaning, thatmay ormay
not be "correct" (if anything is) from
Dickinson explains, "'She's My
Friend' ... initially, you could under-
stand it and you could understand ev-
erything and it seemed very obvious,
what was going on, but underneath, it
seemed to be boiling and cooking over
and there was some sort of turmoil
going on ...
"(The song) is about someone who
is addicted to somebody who is bad
really (but) on the surface, it's like an
ode to a friend."
The 18-month-old CatherineWheel,
then, are the bliss band for the masses.
music "can be accessible (to people)
who listen to perhaps more mainstream
stuff, ... I think there's stuff in there for
Dag Nasty of Roger Marbury's heavy bass, and
Four on the Floor Colin Sears searing skins.
Epitaph Records DagNasty is unpretentious,butloud
Technically, Dag Nasty no longer about it, nonetheless. Without sound-
exists, as the opening liner notes on ing anthemic or "other-wordly," the
Four on the Floor quickly point out. band thunders through these 10 songs
After listening to the new album, you withzealandpersistence,atleastmaking
realize why this is unfortunate. There's them sound important. There won't be
nothing extremely provocative about a tour in support of this record, and
thisalbum,butthatremains themystique possibly, there won't be any more "get
behind Dag Nasty - the ability to togethers" like this one. However, if
punch out straightforward rock songs this is truly the final chapter in the Dag
with a punk mentality, and sound in- Nasty story, it's a happy ending.
explicably fresh in the process. -Nina Hodaei
What's most interesting about this
recording is the concept of several-
former members of the band getting C O P ES
together to play a jam session, and not
letting theiregosgetinthe way.Whereas
egos ended Dag Nasty, the lack of it on U )_
this album, save it. Dave Smalley's
honestvocalsaboutlove, rejection, and EY
confusion, fuse nicely with the rawr
guitar of Dale Nixon, and the rhythmsm
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everybody, really. We're not writing
snobbishly for an elite audience ...
"I mean, I've got a couple of friends
who are like serious rock/heavy metal
fans and they grudgingly love the group
because it has things they are familiar
with - lots of aggressively played
guitars - but it (also) has new stuff
which theydidn'tthink theycouldlike."
CATHERINE WHEEL open for the
SOUP DRAGONS tonight at St.
Andrew's Hall. Tickets are $10.50 and
the doors open at 9 p.m. Call 961-
MELTfor more information.
rIRST tRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
(t etv eenila l&Saouth Um'ers:tv)
Campus Worship & Dnner-;:'1p m.
Worshi p--s:30 a.m
TL P FD A Y-
Campus Fmln & Dessert-7 p m
For information, call 6624466
.\tm 5luona , Capus Pastor
LUTHERAN CA MPUS MINISTRY
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Robert Hoepner, Pastor, call 662-0663
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