Glasgow based indie band Catholic Action have channelled a classic alternative sound on their second album. With influences like Talking Heads, the band has clearly been inspired by the artists of the 70s. There are some striking similarities to the likes of T.Rex. Songs like People Don’t Protest Enough, which seems to be a call to arms, particularly encapsulate that feeling of angst and rebellion. It’s a welcome throwback, and maybe one for the people who insist that music nowadays can never compare to what came before.
At the same time, all of this is combined with a more contemporary indie sound. They are sometimes reminiscent of fellow Glaswegians Franz Ferdinand and the Fratellis. Furthermore, the music is kept relevant by the way that they explore modern issues in their songs. Celebrated by Strangers is an unabashedly political album, with tracks like One of Us, which is described as “Tory baiting”, and Four Guitars (For Scottish Independence).
Starting off with a scream of guitar and pounding drums, it would be easy for the album to fall flat after a strong start, but it keeps going with fast paced, energetic beats. This is music that dares you not to like it. There are calmer tracks too, which balance out the album. And It Shows provides a respite from the otherwise spirited sound, with its easy-going beat and mournful, wailing guitar.
The band have clearly developed as musicians since the release of their last album, managing to incorporate the production and the studio itself a lot more. In making their sophomore album, they have come much closer to finding their own sound and caring less about expectations.
The best thing about it is that the band actually seem as though they are enjoying themselves, which is something that isn’t always present in music. The result is an album that is hugely enjoyable to listen to.