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Guitar Magazine, October, 1997

Catherine Wheel - Paradise Found

Acoustic slide guitar is the first sound that leaps off Adam and Eve, the latest Mercury release from the English band Catherine Wheel. That wouldn't be noteworthy for some groups, but for a quartet recognized for construction buzzing walls of guitar sound on modern rock hits like "Black Metallic" and "Crank" as well as on their critically acclaimed 1995 album Happy Days, it makes a statement of sorts.

"We chose instruments which people would warm to," explains Rob Dickenson, Catherine Wheel's singer and guitarist, "so there's more organ, piano, and acoustic instruments on this record. But," he adds, "at the same time, it has plenty of spikes from the electric stuff."

Good thing, because it wouldn't be Catherine Wheel without Dickinson and guitar partner Brian Futter drilling their signals into the listener's head by means of identical Fender Stratocasters piped through Mesa/Boogie and modified Marshall setups (respectively), like on the frenzied power-pop number "Delicious." But Adam and Eve does find the boys adding acoustic flavor to a preponderance of the tracks, such as the sprawling "Phantom Of The American Mother" and the Pink Floyd-tinged "Future Boy."

The skillful balance found on Adam and Eve is sure to further Catherine Wheel's success and also continue the Dickinson family tradition of rock music influence: Rob's cousin Bruce used to sing for a little band called Iron Maiden. Why is it that the two best known Dickinson's have been employed in bands named after centuries-old torture devices?

"Must be some kind of ironic twist of fate," Dickinson laughs. -Dan Johnson


Catherine Wheel may not be mainstream (yet), but they've got plenty of fans. Some of us have joined together to form a web ring of CW-related pages. Just click the appropriate part of the picture below, and you're off to another CW (Cool Web) site! Is that convenient or what?

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