Album Review – Sink Into Oblivion by theCatherines (2021) (TeenyTinyTapes)
After the absolute brilliance of February 2021’s, Drenched EP, Heiko Schneider is already back, throwing just about every 80s pop reference point that has ever been considered as cool, into another album that somehow finds the perfect balance between willfully obscure, downright obtuse and melodic ear-worm.
theCatherines Bandcamp band bio, summates the essence of this act better that any of us amateur / lazy hournos / bloggers ever could, detailing the aesthetic as a:
Unsurprisingy, with such a build up the sense of eclectic never lets the listener settle and you would never ‘really’ want it to.
Perhaps the most consistent sound on the album can best be described as “Bacharach on Twang”. Here, You Never Have Any Self Doubts Do You?, Like In A Song by Nichols and Williams and Where Have I Gone Wrong, take all that is schmaltzy, sophist-pop abundant and lace it with twanging riffs. The two sounds are totally disparate, but Schneider always finds excellence in such disparation.
Throughout the album the lyrical themes of the futility of love (and it’s despair) and equally futile, false people, are told with a Belle and Sebastian style penchant for telling nasty little stories in the nicest of possible ways. In fact Let’s Write The Book Of Love and She Left Without Saying Goodbye take this essence one step further with their definitive twee-pop stylistics.
For every slice of brilliant weirdness and unseemly musical juxtapositions this project provides, there is always a reminder on every theCatherines release to just how adept Schneider is at penning the most lucid of jangly indie-pop tracks.
On Sink Into Oblivion , Lift Me Up To Your Eye level and You Got It All Wrong, provide that timely reminder and just add a bit of a traditional foundation to hold the all the maverick genius together.
Without doubt theCatherines finest yet…grab a cassette copy here.