Catherine Wheel: Happy Days

HappyDaysBasically all you need to know about this album: histrionic adolescent lyrics sung in an overwrought manner over heavy-handed guitars and uninspirational drums for 14 tracks and 62 minutes.

Bloated and hard to swallow, Catherine Wheel’s Happy Days does have its share of moments buried under the thick clay of Too Much that is the majority of this album, but they never lift up the fog of overdone enough to make it work for a full song. A poor man’s Smashing Pumpkins. Much more tolerable in small doses…I can usually make it through the first half of the album, with track seven “My Exhibition” changing the tone to a Vs-era Pearl Jam kind of punk thing. But then it goes right to the worst track on the album: “Eat My Dust, You Insensitive Fuck,” a song for which the term bloated is a huge understatement.

It’s not clear to me why this band exists. Bands doing this kind of thing were a dime a dozen in the mid-90’s, and I don’t know what you wouldn’t get from any of the others that you’d need to get from these guys. I guess there’s a bit of a prog element, but it’s not done that well, so I don’t know, like maybe if you just couldn’t get enough “Fate’s Warning”?

Rating:
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– “My Exhibition”
– “God Inside My Head,” “Waydown,” “Receive,” “Shocking,” “Love Tips Up,” “Hole,” “Kill My Soul”
– “Little Muscle,” “Heal,” “Empty Head,” “Eat My Dust You Insensitive Fuck,” “Judy Staring At The Sun,” “Fizzy Love”
Song Notes: After the jump

  1. God Inside My Head – I just think there were so mumany ch more that did this better back in the day. My Sister’s Machine, I Mother Earth, etc. I may be able to tolerate this track.
  2. Waydown – oh he so tortured. Oh they’re making fun of grunge in the lyrics. Well that’s dumb. Just because a sound is expensive…could just be talent. You can kind of get that expensive sound without too much money. lyrics about his “beautiful thing”
  3. Little Muscle – so not cute the way it makes you think it’s supposed to be about a dick but then it’s about a tongue
  4. Heal – Sucks.
  5. Empty Head – “Of all the things a popular song can bring.” Ugh.
  6. Receive – So much more tolerable than the other tracks, I think in large part due to a smoother guitar sound.
  7. My Exhibition – punky. Up to this point the pacing and length of songs is manageable.
  8. Eat My Dust You Insensitive Fuck – Here is where the album really falls apart. I think the first chord change might be at 2:40 of this 8-plus minute song.
  9. Shocking –
  10. Love Tips Up – Always makes me think of keep skip tips up signs.
  11. Judy Staring At The Sun –
  12. Hole – Verses are very bad. Chorus is cool, hooky.
  13. Fizzy Love – so painful
  14. Kill My Soul –
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