Catbath is the unholy union of Ramones-esque punk and Pacific Northwest grunge. The pop charm is there, surrounded by gnarly riffs and haunting shrieks. Hailing from Minneapolis, Catbath has been making a name for themselves in DIY circles. With their newest record, Glitterbox, they’re bound to make even more of a splash. There’s an untamed, brutal energy that breathes life into the tracks on Glitterbox. It’s a celebration of rock and roll in all of its raw splendor and beauty.
What Catbath does best on this record is combine styles that would otherwise remain in opposition. Opener “UFO” is as catchy, driving, and unique. Sugary riffs surround overdriven vocal melodies. Just as the song reaches a suggested climax, there’s a break. Beautiful harmonics leave you suspended in midair for a second, before the songs comes crashing back.
The rest of the album will leave you just as wide-eyed and stupefied as the opening songs. The second track, “Black Sand,” is some sort of twisted reimagining of 50’s doo-wop. A bright, gnarly bass tone starts the song. “Check Byways” is gloriously riot girl, with piercing yells surrounded by visceral guitar. The opening guitar line of “Hoarder” sounds almost like a Black Sabbath b-side, “Ta Da” is a power-pop anthem.
“Privilege” is a sludgy, doomy, detuned banger. Song after song, the record becomes more complex almost to the point of implosion. Somehow, Glitterbox remains intact. In fact, Catbath manages to make a record that is oddly cohesive and whole despite its forays into various genres.
When a band wants to combine styles and genres into something fresh, it’s often hard for them to make a well-balanced record. Usually, genre-bending leads to a forced or contrived. For Catbath, it comes off as effortless. Stream and order a copy of Glitterbox here.