After eight years of surprising staying power, Catch 22 is back with the release of their newest album, Dinosaur Sounds. With its simple, choppy lyrics and garage band feel, Dinosaur Sounds is a 12-song venture dealing mostly with understanding the world and the self, plus the token whimsical screaming-into-the-microphone love ballad.
Catch 22 is comprised of Ryan Eldred (saxophone/vocals), Kevin Gunther (trumpet/vocals), Chris Greer (drums), Pat Calphin (guitar), Pay Kays (bass guitar) and Ian Mckenzie (trombone).
As chief songwriter, Eldred provides a pure, unadulterated look into his life and views. While the lyrics are easy to relate to, they are written in a pandering and, sadly, uninteresting way. Catch 22 was formed in 1996 and still sound no smarter than some lame high school band at an annual Battle of the Bands competition.
The lyrics and music together seem to want to say much more than what the listener actually hears. C-Two Two is singing about worthwhile subjects, but what it comes down to is that their vocabulary sounds juvenile, especially considering that Dinosaur Sounds is the band’s fifth record.
In the song “Rocky,” Eldred whines, “Please go away won’t you leave me alone?/I’m just so drunk and miserable./You started with me./You started with me.” It’s generic.
But despite the lyrics’ lack of intriguing and meaningful insights, the band has awesome brass and woodwind sections, in addition to the usual guitar, bass and drums. Eldred, Gunther and Greer all show complete musical ownership of their instruments. Throughout the album, the band takes lyrical breathers for small and much needed instrumental breaks.
This record is an honest, but failed attempt to communicate meaningful words and thoughts. It could be the melodies or the chords. Or maybe it’s the screaming, whiney voices. But, whatever the reason, Dinosaur Sounds lacks the passion behind the music to really reach its listeners.