In Memory Of, the debut album from Catholic Action, introduces a confident band with a spark and a big dose of ambition. Their first full-length effort possesses one-of-a-kind atmosphere which captures the listener with its post-punk production, coated with pop arrangements. The Glasgow-based band has already toured with names such as Circa Waves, Swim Deep and The Magic Gang, as well as gained the public’s attention with their song titled ‘Rita Ora’. Now it seems like the perfect time to unveil more material of their own.
‘L.U.V’, is a perfectly catchy opener with infectious rhythm to which you will find yourself clapping in a matter of seconds. The following track, ‘Propaganda’, starts with noisy guitars, but swiftly transforms into a tune that will stand out on the album due to its colourful arrangement and multi-layered vocals.
Although ‘The Shallows’ is still very much in the upbeat lane, it has a sombre aftertaste to it, magnified by swooning guitar which takes the lead in the middle of the song. ‘Doing Well’ finds the source of its energy in the chorus, which is nothing more but Chris McCrory repeating the two title words in a vigorous, yet very effective way. The most memorable songs on In Memory Of must be ‘Black & White’ and ‘Breakfast’. The first one will win the audience with its laid-back character and one simple line: “Black and white, but mostly black”, while the second is an almost anthemic track with a die-for energy and the most charismatic vocals on the album.
There is a great deal of edge in the band’s songs, but Catholic Action has definitely settled for a more radio-friendly sound when comparing it to their early releases, but they’ve left just enough of their scuffed, lo-fi charms intact that got them this far in the first place. In Memory Of certainly isn’t short of great tunes which almost guarantee a break-out for the young band. As McCrory explains, “I had to make an album on my own terms”, which In Memory Of certainly is. However, it is also not as mind-blowing and innovative as the band would probably want it to be. (7/10) (Alicja Rutkowska)
Listen to In Memory Of by Catholic Action here via Spotify, and tell us what you think below!
Tags: album, Alicja Rutkowska, Andrew Macpherson, Catholic Action, Chris McCrory, In Memory Of, Jamie Dubber, Modern Sky, review, Ryan Clark
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