Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Cathode - Sweet Baja

(Castle von Buhler, 1998)

Boston three-piece turns out two instros in the post-rock vein, but with a definite East Coast psych influence looming large – no recycled Tortoise-isms here. “Sweet Baja” is a cozy, rainy-day nod-off; a meatier, more assertive take on what the American Analog Set was doing, but still a total slow-mo cough-syrup downer. The B-side speeds it up for the propulsive “Fighter Pilot,” which is driven by a steady almost-Kraut bass-drum thump and occasional snare explosions. Rhythmic guitar with rapid crescendos and decrescendos seals the deal on this one, even if it could stand to be a whole lot longer (That’s a compliment, see. Gimme MORE!).

There were a lot of bands of this sort around Boston in the late 1990s… Lockgroove, Charlene, Abunai!, Cul de Sac. Cathode doesn’t seem to be as versatile or strong as those first two – would def be reserves on any All-Star team – but this is a nice little quiet/loud single with enough obvious promise to make it unfortunate that it didn’t lead to a much longer career. Trust an internet stranger: you should start searching them dollar bins if you weep tears of joy over rockin’ ’90s instrumental psych, cuz this is a bowling ball right up your alley.

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