Static Delusions and Stone-Still Days

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The Catheters kick up quite the ruckus on Static Delusions and Stone-Still Days, their sophomore full-length. On the Seattle quartet's Sub Pop debut (after a self-titled release and handful of singles), the pace is fast, the volume is loud, and Brian Sandeford's throat-shredding vocals -- reminiscent of Mark Arm back in his Green River days -- are the epitome of urgency and attitude. That's the good news and the bad news: on one hand, the band couldn't rock harder if they tried; on the other, there's little difference between one track and the next. Not too surprisingly, the entire enterprise was recorded and mixed in one 36-hour session; little wonder it sounds like they didn't get the chance to take a breather. This unrelenting piledriver approach, leavened by little in the way of versatility or subtlety, leads to a claustrophobic sense of sameness, which is relieved only slightly by "Bleary Haze," where they turn things down a notch -- but only a notch. Clearly, the Catheters have got the power and the energy to spare. By taking a few more risks in the future -- plus time -- they should be able to harness those virtues toward a more memorable result.

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