Friday, August 08, 2014

FDF Volume 3 Issue 347 - Catherine Wheel - Ferment

Album - Ferment
Artist – Catherine Wheel
Key Players – Neil Sims – Percussion. Dave Hawes – Bass. Rob Dickinson – Lead vocals, guitar. Brian Futter – guitar and vocals.

Produced By – Tim Friese-Green

Release Date – June 9, 1992

Overview - This is the first full length album from Greath Yarmouth, England alternative rock band “Catherine Wheel”. The band took their name from a firework, that took its name from a midevil torture device. The band would be active for ten years and have mild levels of commercial success. They'd release four additional full length studio albums and in 2000 went on hiatus, but the band has done nothing in the time since.

We had a look at "Chrome" many years ago. Have a look if you'd like.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) – Twelve tracks and 57 minutes the album opens with the big and full sounding “Texture”. Futter and Dickinson get after it on the guitar and Sims attacks the cymbals. After the intro the band cools down some and Dickinson puts his croon right up at you. He has a nice deep and full voice that ebbs and flows from quiet to loud and has a breathy feel at time. Its a soaring album opener. By the second verse/chorus you hear more of Hawes bass work and the guitarists duel it out towards the end as Sims just smashes his drum kit. At the start of "I Want to Touch You" the guitar has that slow build and the band seems locks and loaded to join in. Like the prior track we get a full band to come in as the verse gets underway. Dickinson is in fine form and the band seems focused on the swirl of the guitars while the bass and drum drive forward. Futter has two runs at longer guitar solos which is a change for the band. If you are familiar with the band at all you know “Black Metallic”. The bands epic track with its great build up and tempo changes. I was hesitant to put this track up as a reminder, but upon listening it just needs to be part of the write up. “Indigo is Blue” hits you with two guitars strumming the same notes for over 30 seconds until Sims hits the drums and the band changes gears. What you feel might have been a loud and quick eases back some. Hawes bass compliments a bit more of a calm Dickinson on vocals. Even for a slower feeling track Futter gets time to solo and its a gritty wash of guitar. “She's My Friend” has Dickinson and Futter on the wall of guitars again and by the time Dickinson sings it has this really full sound. His voice is strong and deep so it resonates well with what the band is doing around him. Sims keeps that steady pace and Hawes continues to hold the bottom down tight. “Shallow” is a straight up rocker with the machine gun drums while the title track “Ferment”is the polar opposite at the start. A singular guitar with Dickinson practically whispering the words. Its not until close to the three minute mark that the band erupts for a short burst before going back to the quiet, but that is short lived..another brick wall of sound. Its repeated a few times resulting in an extending big ending. “Flower to Hide” is a great side of the band, the big sound, the full vocals, but feels a bit “different” for some reason. Could be a bit more laid back style from Dickinson, but is a cool sounding track. One guitar is on point, the other swirling and distored as “Tumbledown” begins. Dickinson is calm again but Sims and Hawes don't seem to want to be too laid back so they burst, but settle back for the verses. “Bill and Ben” seems to have the same vibe as the prior track while “Salt” has that lone guitar at the start before the band comes in. More of “shoegaze” type track you hear the layer of vocals from the guys as the band plays on. You can almost feel the fog machines rolling as you listen. Closing out with a stand out track,"Balloon" they really leave on a high note. You can almost tell from the great guitar intro that works right along with the bass and drums. The band is just locked in. A stellar track.

Where are they now? - The band stayed intact for most of their duration. Hawes left the band before the release of the bands final studio record. This is a band that, in my opinion, would do well on a reunion tour. Package with another band from the period and they'd be golden. Dickinson has done a solo record and some songs here and there. Based of wikipedia he enjoys working on old cars. As always if you know of any further updates feel free to comment and I'll update for like minded and curious fans.

FDF Overall Take/Was it worth Dusting Off? - There are some stellar moments on this record. When this came out it felt big, fresh and exciting. It holds up very well. Easily one of their best records and should be the launching pad if you choose to go down this just need to least for a tour.

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Disclaimer – I am just a music fan. Feel free to comment about something that may be written incorrectly about the band/members etc. I strive to have a fun and enjoyable site. This site used to post mp3s but ran in to many issues. The audio clips provided are usually from YouTube. No copy write infringement is intended. Please alert me if something should be pulled. Finally, support the artist featured, or your favorite artist by purchasing their music, seeing their shows if possible and saying hi. They need your support.


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