Friday, January 15, 2010

catl calling

Too delta dirty for indie rock hipsters and too uproarious reckless for the "Sweet Home Chicago" blues crowd, catl were in for a struggle to find an audience in Toronto for their forceful bash 'n' twang. And even though the White Stripes and Black Keys had proven that two determined people were sufficient to rock arena-sized crowds, there are obvious limitations to the guitar and drums set-up which Jamie "catl" Fleming and Johnny LaRue realized when recording their stormin' ¿Adónde Vas? A Ningun Lado (Coletrain) debut from last year. So they wisely hired vivacious vocalist/keyboardist Sarah Kirkpatrick from Shitt Hottt which has significantly bolstered their attack and added some tambourine-slapping excitement to their relatively static performances. 

You can hear the benefits on catl's new album, With The Lord For Cowards You Will Find No Place (Folk Brand Records) which, like their first, is issued on vinyl with a free CD version thoughtfully included. Although there are once again a couple of blues classics added to the mix, this time it's Lightnin' Slim's Excello burner Goin' Home and Charley Patton's Oh Death, all the shouting and wailing sounds more like a party than a funeral.
Of course, having half of the album's songs recorded and mixed by Detroit garage kingmaker Jim Diamond also appears to have had a significant impact on catl's sonic enhancement – not to discount the fine work done by Jeff McMurrich and James Anderson on the remaining tracks.
The bottom line is that catl have taken a step in the right direction with their new release which you'll better appreciate when they hit the Silver Dollar (486 Spadina) stage tonight (Friday, January 15). Those who can't make it should note that catl are also doing an in-store at Sonic Boom (512 Bloor West) on Saturday at 5 pm where admission is free but they ask that you bring a non-perishable food donation for the Daily Bread Food Bank. catl will also be sharing a bill with Bradley Boy at the Dakota Tavern (249 Ossington) on Friday, January 22.


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