Catoan, 'And Will I'
I wasn't sure about the transmogrification from Paddy McKeown to Catoan. It was a trade in from solo artist to grunge-jazz combo, from personable face to scruffy ensemble. So this six track mini-album was a hard enough sell.
Happily, the people are fit to carry that weight. They announce their arrival on 'Femme Fatale', with a sax that squawks like Ornette Coleman and a rhythm dude who rattles the rimshots, just so. Presently, the song is glowering and tragic, full of pungent guitar lines and Paddy's voice, soaring and then nose-diving.
Catoan will rightly point to a giddy range of ideas and influences. The casual listener will hear the vibrato of 'Stranger' and the skipping tempo and they might tick the box marked 'Buckley Jr'. It's inevitable, really. But let's not get too fixated with the generous length of the songs, with the occasional, wibbling tendency. Instead, we can be satisfied that 'Goodbye' is succinct and in possession of a terrific violin blow-out.
Paddy is not afraid of the haiku, nor does he refrain from admissions of big love. And he eases us out with 'Bells Of The Ground', essentially some plinking instrument and people laughing at the back of the mix. Congrats to Catoan.
Catoan, 'And Will I' (Curious Incident Records)