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The Octopus, Fall, 1997
Catherine Wheel "Adam and Eve" (Mercury)
Not everybody "borrows" from the Beatles, you know. Catherine Wheel doesn't. Rather, Catherine Wheel lift in Pink Floyd and decided that was just fine as an influence. After listening to "Adam and Eve", so do we. They pick up Waters-era Floyd tricks big and little: an echoed final word in the chorus ("Broken Nose"), the false song start ("Phantom of the American Mother"), the Waters vocal rise and fall, the swelling musical crescendo. But like Oasis and their Beatles thing, it doesn't matter that Catherine Wheel wear their influences on their sleeves. They're good enough to incorporate them into a sound of their own so that when you spot a Floydian reference, it brings a smile rather than a snort of derision. Adam and Eve is full of hook-laden melodies and harmonically ethereal, guitar-swirled tunes. The lyrics carry an edge of anger and despair that stand as a counterpart to the smoother, richer, more melodic lines. "Satellite," "Future Boy," and "Phantom of the American Mother" are all incredible, with "Phantom.." bordering on brilliant. This is a record that hides its treasures; after a song or two, the rabid devotion Catherine Wheel inspires in some may still elude you. But listen a while longer. It becomes understandable long before the album ends..
The Octopus is a local weekly paper in Champaign, Illinois.