Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Catherine Wheel - Ferment (1992, Fontana)

Catherine Wheel -noun 1. a firework that revolves on a pin, making a wheel of fire or sparks, pinwheel. 2. medieval torture device. 3. Yarmouth, England band that made a fantastic debut Shoegaze record then went on to suck.

1990 saw the band begin playing out, stages full of effects pedals creating lots of feedback over their lush washes of drone. They distinguished themselves from Slowdive, Inspiral Carpets or Stone Roses by being more aggressive and hard-hitting.

In early '91, they recorded a Peel Session, were courted by Creation and Opal (Eno's label) but signed to Fontana. After the "Ferment" album was released and gave them a couple of solid hits stateside, the Smashing Pumpkins credited them as influence in the liner notes of "Siamese Dream". I guess they got tired of the Shoegaze tag and wanted to sound more like the Pumpkins so, gone were the ethereal qualities after that. They went on to release a couple mediocre more straight ahead albums and a couple that were real shite. I blame you, Billy Corgan.

If you're scoffing at them, this album wasn't the one you heard way back then. Trust me.

Get It Here

Or: Ferment - Catherine Wheel

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