Catholic Action were first heard on a sampler EP the other week and we were very impressed: about as good as indie gets. After playing the album, we find they’re a band of two halves — the good stuff, and the less impressive, routine indie-by-numbers. Landfill indie is back.
Which band they are will only become apparent by album two. They make an interesting comparison with The Sugarmen, the indie band reviewed last week. The Sugarmen are better track by track, but will struggle to escape the North West, if not Liverpool. Catholic Action have the weaker songs but have “rapid ascent to chart success” written all over them.
The openers are all good. L.U.V. is bit Kaiser Chiefs, ie catchy, crowd-friendly indie, while Propaganda opens with rocky guitar/snare and a brief bass solo before becoming an up tempo indie tune that’s a bit Maximo Park.
Say Nothing also opens with bass, the song itself being propelled energetically by the drummer’s floor tom.
Doing Well is the song we heard on the EP sampler and is excellent: tight, catchy indie with a good chorus.
On the downside, Breakfast is ponderous, The Shallows (a crowd favourite) and The Real World derivative, and New Year a shameless crowd pleaser that sticks out like a sore thumb and lowered our opinion of the band and the album.
They can write a good tune and apparently sound good live but seem to have listened to lots of other bands (it’s vaguely Libertines in places, too) and lost their own sound in the process.
If Catholic Action are Doing Well, longevity awaits; if The Real World, expect rapid ascent and descent.