This was a random shot-in-the-dark purchase from Lou’s Records in Encinitas a few weeks back. I will confess once again to being initially taken in by the motorcycle imagery on the cover. I know the cover shouldn’t matter. But let’s be honest, a cover with imagery that you find interesting or appealing will at least get you to stop and look, and getting your attention is part of what a cover is about. Look, if you’re the Metallica you can put out an album with any kind of ridiculous cover you want – puppies, clowns, daisies, whatever. Because you’re Metallica. No one is going to be aimlessly flipping through records, see your cover, and say, “Huh, never heard of these Metallica guys before, but their cover looks sweet. I mean, I like puppies. I should check them out.” But if you’re a relatively unknown band, or an up-and-comer, putting something visually striking or interesting on your cover can’t hurt.
I used to sell wine for a living right after I graduated from college and I remember one of my teammates complaining when one of the brands we rep’d came out with a new label. “I wish they’d spend the money on making the juice better,” was his only comment. But to me it made perfect sense. I sold wine to grocery stores, not fancy wine shops that cater to fancy people who read the Wine Spectator and can talk intelligently about terroir. When faced with a huge wine section and very little knowledge, people shop labels whether they want to admit it or not. It at least gets the bottle in their hand to look at it. And the motorcycle cover did that to me for The Cateran.
So I looked up The Cateran online and they were described as a Scottish alternative/grunge/punk/hardcore. Now c’mon. Alternative is a long way from hardcore. Like, a really, really long way. But they’re Scottish, which was a little interesting, and I liked the cover. And it was only four bucks, so I bought it.
Die Tomorrow is decent album, and to clear up the above I’d say it’s closer to alternative than anything else. But there isn’t anything special here that piques my interest. It’s basically some fast rock, with maybe a bit of a country influence on the song “Virgil’s Way”. The last track, “Early Olde”, has some cool guitar work on it, especially as the song winds down. But otherwise… it’s fine, but that’s about it. Nothing here that will make me keep The Cateran on my radar, although if I found something and the price was right, I’d give it a shot on the store’s listening station – Die Tomorrow is good enough to make me think these guys could have some gems out there.