The Catheters opening for Division of Laura Lee and the Burning Brides at the Horseshoe (370 Queen West), Wednesday (January 22). $12.50. 416-598-4753.
after all the corny new wave,faulty folk, ersatz emo and dire comedy recordings that Sub Pop has extruded in recent years, the label's unexpected release of an obnoxiously dirty rock and roll disc from the Catheters is a welcome surprise. The sloppy-assed Seattle numbskulls' second crack, Static Delusions And Stone-Still Days, recalls the unruly sound of Sub Pop's late-80s golden era. Far be it from me to damn the exciting young foursome with the hated g-word, but they admit they've rarely seen a review without a reference to Mudhoney's past glories.
While the Catheters' stage-diving 21-year-old frontman, Brian Standeford, can barely contain his rage over the frequent Mudhoney comparisons, it's no secret that he shares an Iggy Pop fascination with Mark Arm.
Those seeking a Sub Pop precedent for the Catheters' wired-up pounding would do better to check the early recordings of Blood Circus and the Fluid.
It should be said that the Catheters have inadvertently set themselves up for the somewhat dubious "Mudhoney Jr." tag by touring overseas with their greasy-haired forebears. And British music journalists aren't the sort to look past an obvious story angle, particularly when it's staring them in the face.
"We thought about that before going on tour with Mudhoney," admits Standeford from his Seattle pad, "and it really does bug me that we're constantly compared to them. But I really like Mudhoney and we got to play to much bigger audiences in Europe than we would've on our own, so I don't think it was a mistake.
"Listening to Mudhoney in grade five is really what turned me on to punk rock and, later, stuff like Tad and the Melvins. But I'd have to say that the Stooges were always my favourite band. I just loved the rawness and the energy of their records and all the stories of the fucked-up things they did, too."
Along with the profile boost, playing dates with Mudhoney proved a valuable learning experience for the still green Catheters, who are barely out of their teens. They got to see first-hand how a real rock and roll band deals with the press.
"We were very timid before we went on tour with Mudhoney. Some magazine photographer would come up with a retarded idea for a shot and we'd just go along with whatever they told us to do.
"This woman from NME had us take off our shirts and then sprayed us with this body paint shit. Thank god no one in North America will ever see it.
"One day we happened to be around when Mudhoney were doing a photo shoot in Europe. The photographer asked them to jump up and down and some other shit, and Mark Arm was, like, "No! Fuck you! We're going to leave soon, so hurry up and take your shot!' Heh, heh, that was great. We learned a lot from Mudhoney."firstname.lastname@example.org