Album of the Week: Cathedrale – Facing Death (Howlin’ Banana Records)

As it bounces through post-punk, power-pop, and psych-tinged garage, Cathedrale’s second album, Facing Death, is an absolute joy to listen to.

Cathedrale first graced my ears thanks to the fine folks at Frantic City Records who put together a fantastic French & Belgian Garage Punk playlist for us last year. On that show we played “Caught Out There” from Cathedrale’s strong debut release Total Rift which was easily one of my favorite songs from 2017. This most-recent release from the Toulouse four-piece further solidifies the infectious sound its predecessor established.

It’s hard to pin Cathedrale’s down in any narrow description. It has attitude while remaining playful. It sounds lo-fi but maintains a crisp edge. Clocking in at just under twenty-six minutes, the tracks are brief, but quite filling.

Facing Death opens with the hazy psych-punk jam “Yet, so easy”, sounding as if it’s off a yet-to-be-named John Dwyer project. On “Games”, it sounds as if the band is channeling post-punk greats Wire, Siouxsie And The Banshees, or Mission to Burma before smoothly transitioning into something a bit more Ramones-esque on “I Don’t Like My Shadow.”

The last two tracks of the record are just as unique, yet even these cunning departures mesh easily into the album’s overall sound. The jagged melodic riffing in “Which Way I’ll Go” transitions smoothly into the upbeat, indie-pop-inflected “You Can Fall,” Making me feel that summer is just around the corner even though winter has not yet begun.

Facing Death is out now on Howlin’ Banana Records and was recorded by Lo Spider (because of course it was). The perfectly-paired album art was illustrated by Freak City.

Ryan

Ryan first discovered his love of radio at WSOE FM, where he spent all 4 years of college as a DJ, 2 as program director, and 1 as general manager. While his musical tastes are fairly broad, he has a big nerdy spot in his heart for prog rock.