A shimmering reminder of how glorious pop hooks can sound when burst out of an explosive cannon.
Label: Modern Sky
Released: 20th October 2017
When something sounds distinctly fresh yet immediately familiar, it can go one of two ways. It can fall into cliches of pastiche, or it can form its own pool for everyone to dive into. With Catholic Action, they’ve practically opened their own ocean with ‘In Memory Of’, a debut album that fizzes with energy and charm with an immediacy that’ll have them crowned as your new favourite band after the very first play.
Direct and sharp, ‘In Memory Of’ is a record of palpable swagger. It jumps off The Cure-wrapped ‘Propaganda’, glides into view with ready-made chant favourites on ‘L.U.V.’, ‘Doing Well’ and ‘Say Nothing’ and can be heard in ‘New Year’ as it captures that peak moment down the boozer (handclaps and all). There’s a sense of youthful abandon sitting there, like the sound of early-Libertines late nights and chiming moments with mates that would pull in the most despondent of faces and make them feel like giants. Yet what makes ‘In Memory Of’ even more vital is that layer of hidden darkness and depth, soaring with panoramic beauty as ‘The Shallows’ reaches its hands-in-the-air pinnacle, shape-shifting on closer ‘Stars And Stripes’ and ripe with pop ease as ‘Childhood Home’ sways and tugs at the heartstrings.
For an opening statement to the world, many would be hard-pressed to get close to ‘In Memory Of’, the sound of a band fully enjoying themselves and unabashed in throwing themselves into each huge moment. It’s the sort of record you’ll be coming back to time and time again as a result. Catholic Action don’t just prove how good they are with ‘In Memory Of’, but deliver a shimmering reminder of how glorious pop hooks can sound when burst out of an explosive cannon. Jamie Muir