Album Cover
The Catheters
Howling...It Grows and Grows!!!
Sub Pop
May 18, 2004


The Catheters are the State's response to The Hives. If Howling...It Grows And Grows!!! had been released before Veni Vidi Vicious, we would all be familiar with this Seattle band instead of the infamous Swedish quintet. Which, would have boded well for the US's (SubPop's) goal of global domination (i.e. The Shams). Whether or not it would have boded well enough for musical standards and quality is something of debate. True enough, there are some minor differences between the aforementioned bands. The Catheters have more rapid fire guitar licks, where The Hives are more content to look pretty and commit blatant radio pandering, but they look so cute! Both bands find themselves lumped into the burgeoning garage rock/ noise punk revival genus taking cues from the Stooges and Sex Pistols.

So, do The Catheters further the landscape of an overcrowded market? Not so much, yet, they do rock out in an youthful angsty and buoyant way. There are plenty of soulful "awwwws" and guttural crooning to convince us that whatever is being sang about is certainly interesting if thoroughly indecipherable. And, in place of lyrics is a nifty poster of an imposterish femi-pirate emblazed. Although, I could make out the visceral words, "I wanna feel the blood stretch the walls of my veins" off track six, "Red Flags to White." What a suitable topic for a band christened after such a notorious medical implement.

There is one very bright piece of work on the album found in the song "Between The Creases." The song has the most interesting and concise guitar work found on the album. Here, only, the guitars are content to stick to, for the most part, a singular catchy guitar riff. Which, like the rest of the album, contains a nice mixture of distortion and production. Brian Standeford ejaculates his lyrics all over the song and we even find the album's namesake buried in the song's verses. I can't help but think of one thing in particular that grows and grows and it ain't no Chia Pet.

The rest of the album is unfortunately a bit masturbatory in method. In that, there is an obvious obsession with making noise for it's own sake. Which means I can't offer noise-fiends a better recommendation than this album. They should sell earplugs with this beast. The album has the proverbial house piled up to the ceiling with huge guitars, and lining the walls are matching amps. Drop a stick of dynamite into the room and we have a close approximation to the sound that The Catheters have created on their second full-length.

Jacob Daley

Track List

  1. No Natural Law
  2. Reaction
  3. Brave Drum
  4. Between the Creases
  5. Ravenous Animal
  6. Red Flags to White
  7. Cold Blood Crawling
  8. Easy Life
  9. My Mouth
  10. Magnus Died
  11. We Are So Cold