Catfish – Burning Bridges
11 songs time-59:30
Shades of Pink Floyd, Camel and more heavy rockers are conjured up by this quartet from The United Kingdom. All songs written were written by either or both Paul and Matt Long (Paul & Matt are father & son ) except for one by bassist Adam Pyke co-written with Matt Long. The songs cover ground from moody prog-rock, hard rock and the occasional lighter moment. Both Longs share vocal duties. Matt has total control of his guitar riffs, while Paul adds melody and texture with his variety of keyboards. The solid rhythm section holds everything together.
Droning, eerie early Pink Floyd-ish sounds lead into power chords and the nifty hook of “Up In Smoke”. Matt’s yearning lead vocal is supported by Alice Armstrong’s backing vocals. Paul’s organ undercuts Matt’s soaring guitar solo as it morphs into the wah-wah universe. The band achieves the European vibe of the British band Camel on “Ghosts”. Paul’s smooth vocal and Matt’s melodic guitar are reminiscent of Camel’s Andy Ward. They come on like a heavier Camel in the crunchy rock of “The Root Of All Evil”. Paul’s organ is prog-rock funky leading into a soaring guitar interlude.
Ominous moans lead into a catchy riff on “Soulbreaker” that features a vocal by Matt. A portion of the guitar on “Too Far To Fall” is played through a Leslie speaker. There is also an organ part. Matt’s gruffly deliberate vocal supported by Alice Armstrong’s soaring backing vocal on the pensive “Archangel” cuts to the very soul. “The Big Picture” harkens back to classic arena rock with its’ distorted guitar riff and wandering slide guitar. Kind of like Bachman-Turner Overdrive meets Foghat. More of the same with “Under The Gun”, sans slide guitar.
Now for something completely different. Paul accompanied solely by his acoustic piano delivers the plaintive ballad “One More Chance” with his mellow endearing vocal. Ominous, textured guitar riffs fill the ten minute opus of “Exile” with Matt’s hearty vocal bolstered by Alice Armstrong’s backing vocal. The song builds to guitars swirling around with organ.
Various British prop-rock influences are melded together with hard rock attitudes to create something new yet curiously familiar. While not a real Blues album, the band’s playing is about as tight as can be.
Imaginative lyrics abound here in Catfish Land. If you yearn to feed your seventies fix, this is just the place. They have the genre down pat. Nothing slip shod here, this is well crafted and energetic music at its’ finest.