Me, I’m a sadistic, spiteful son of a bitch. But god only knows how I wouldn’t dare wish a catheter insertion upon my worst fucking enemy. These days my enemies are far more prominent than and twice as angry as a gang of my alpha male friends, fired up on Red Bulls and PCP. But my social life is irrelevant, especially when discussed over the topic of such singular atrocities as male frontal rape, an unnatural, sinister act whose cocksucker culprit is the dreaded catheter.
Another atrocity is the Seattle foursome known as the Catheters. Unfortunately, the band’s third full-length, Howling … It Grows and Grows!!!, lacks any of the agonizing ferocity that the band’s name nightmarishly suggests. It drops ungallantly off the bridge of greatness and lands with a giant whimpering thud upon the pavement of fantastic Sub Pop releases. Howling … It Grows and Grows!!! proves at once that not only have the Catheters exhausted the sound that once garnered them media attention, but also have failed to step outside the boundaries of the typical garage rock sound. As frontman Brian Sandeford whines and shouts through uninspired, speed-driven songs, it becomes apparent that the Catheters’ range is as limited as the quality of a scrambled egg.
The LP begins explosively with “No Natural Law,” a rock ‘n’ roll frenzy of upbeat guitar melodies and beer-drinking summertime squalor. It sets the vibe for the entire album — in that every song is embarrassingly similar. The first track left me with anticipation of climbed musical mountains, adventurous pitfalls and soaring limitless jet flights. But the progression of each track left me begging for something different.
From one track to the next, one thing is sure: monotony. Imagine the prolific sound of the MC5 impatiently dissolved within the one-sided intensity and often beach-side corniness of Fu Manchu. If you can’t picture this, I’ll sum it up: it ain’t good.
The lack of diversity and failure to take any sort of risk has led to the unfortunate, tedious formula that the Catheters have remained far too loyal to. Come to think of it, I wouldn’t wish this album upon my worst enemy either. It would put him to sleep, a sleep that feels so good that it’s a fine escape from the hurting of Howling … It Grows and Grows!!!