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Caterwaul - Killer Fish (Lost Art Productions)

Caterwaul is the musical equivalent of stomach cramp. "Killer Fish" is what happens when you crossbreed shoegazing music with American AOR. Very painful, very dated, very pointless.

'Chance in Hell' is upbeat, 'The River Song' and 'Dozens of Roses' are almost ethereal. But any chance of Caterwaul reaching the ambitious heights of mediocrity for even a few precious seconds is ruined by embarrassingly shoddy lyrics. On Flower King, singer Betsy Martin whines: "I see why they call you Flower King / Everyone blooms when you pass by / Pick me for you, pick me for your Flower Queen."

It's not even a case of being so bad, it's funny. Sample lyric no. 2: "The Chains of Love hold dear / They control me, oh they hold real good / Oh the Chains of Love hold me / They suspend me - those Steadfast Chains of Love." Why print the lyrics, when they are this awful? One of the songs is called 'Melancholy Holler', which is asking for it, really.

Dirge is too flattering a word.

by Laura Slattery