Published Apr 25, 2014The music of Toronto duo CATL has always taken cues from the blues of America's deep south, though that inspiration comes through more apparently on This Shakin' House than their three previous albums. After a self-booked tour of the region last year, drummer Sarah Kirkpatrick and guitarist Jamie Fleming returned with newfound energy and fearlessness, reflected in these ten tracks full of ramshackle charm.
Recorded with Adam Hill (the Raconteurs, Jack White) their fourth album (After a brief hiatus in early 2013) bottles the atmosphere of their live shows, warts and all. There are holes within the songs that could have benefitted from additional players or more cohesive arrangements, but that wouldn't be serving their modus operandi.
Album standout "Hold My Body Down" is a nearly six-minute boogie that peaks and lulls on a whim; in capturing that suspense and swagger, however, CATL may have fully realized their vision as a band. Alternating between cataclysmic stomps, such as on "Resistance Place," and more frantic tracks, including the '50s blues rock-leaning "Save Myself," CATL are fearless in their pursuit to harness the energy they've displayed onstage countless times before. There are a few bumps along the way but smoothing them out would have been a disservice to their brazen and largely enjoyable approach.
Check out what instruments CATL play in our recent Music School feature. (Independent)