So, get this! This duo from Winston-Salem plays indie rock with only guitar and upright bass. And the guitar dude also does drum buttons with his feet.
Knee jerk reaction: This is probably going to suck.
Reality: It’s pretty kick-ass.
Music ReviewJews and Catholics
Who Are? We Think We are!
Dive verdict: 3.5 of 5 stars
Using an unlikely arrangement of tools, Jews And Catholics make a hard-hitting, vibrant brand of ’90s-inspired rock that stands out in a state chock full of the stuff.
The group succeeds because it refuses to use its uniquity as a crutch. Alanna Meltzer’s bass playing is impressive, but never overbearing. Played up in the mix via clever production from Mitch Easter and Birds Of Avalon’s Cheetie Kumar, it’s more than just a rhythmic complement for Eddie Garcia’s guitar.
In killer songs such as the triumphantly volatile “Golden Arrow,” her bass is key. Growling in a luxuriously bowed part, her menacing low notes balance out Garcia’s over-arching electric tendrils.
Garcia is also impressive. His riffs reverberate with crisp, clear power. In “Dear Alexa” he builds on Meltzer’s marching bass and his own excellent drum programming with lines that start out nice and polite but ramp up into a torrential crescendo that slides up his register to create an all-consuming roar.
The themes and inspiration are occasionally a little stale. “The Spring” is an ill-advised take on the alternative rock dirges of The Cure. “It’s the kind of crime that captures the crown. It’s the kind of fear that grasps for the ground,” Garcia sings, delivering the overly oblique lines in a deeply brooding tone that just doesn’t suit him.
But when they concentrate on rocking in their own interesting way, Jews And Catholics arrive at something that’s far more satisfying than just a gimmick.
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