Albums You Should Own: “Adam and Eve”, Catherine Wheel

 Adam and Eve

One of my favorite bands ever is the 90’s group Catherine Wheel. 4 guys from a place you’ve never heard of in England, they were usually connected with the ‘shoegaze’ scene alongside bands like My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive and other Fontana labelmates like The House of Love. Their early records certainly fit the shoegaze bill, with shimmering walls of layered guitar sounds and super-dense production, but they evolved over their too short lifespan to experiement with harder sounds and more restrained songwriting. After 10 years and a failure to make it big (as big as they would have liked; CW always enjoyed a large following and critical acclaim that never translated to financial success), they “parked” in 2000, but not after putting out some great albums, including what I believe to be the pinnacle of their catalog, the usually difficult to find (cheap) Adam and Eve. Produced by frequent collaborator Tim Friese-Greene (of 80s band Talk Talk), the album Rolling Stone magazine called the best of 1997 works as one long piece, with songs that flow into each other naturally and organically, but they can also stand alone. This is headphone music or driving music, start to finish. Sometimes stark, sometimes loud, always compelling, this is an album that I still manage to pull meaning and sounds out of today. Singer Rob Dickinson’s (cousin to Iron Maiden’s Bruce) lyrics can be obtuse, but it all just works. This is deceptively simple music. Invest the time to let it sink in and you’ll be rewarded.

Sadly, I never had a chance to see them perform live, but Dickinson recently launched a solo career and tours in support of his debut album, playing a show (which I did manage to catch) filled with old CW classics.

Grab the file, burn it to a disk, throw it in your car, crank it up and go for a 10pm drive. Trust me. Unless your nhak, cause he’s a hippy without a car.


~ by willtuck on September 14, 2007.

6 Responses to “Albums You Should Own: “Adam and Eve”, Catherine Wheel”

  1. You guys and your obscure indie rock. I actually thought this was nhak’s post until you made fun of the carless hippy. Still, I will have to give it a listen when I can, because I try to keep an open mind and you have introduced me to some pretty decent music before.

  2. Lemme know what you think, Mattbear.

  3. I’m with Mattbear on this. I thought for sure this was Nhak. I’ll check out the album though as you sold me on it.

  4. Thanks for the misunderstanding, I guess.

    Alas, I hadn’t heard this album before. I’ve heard some Catherine Wheel, and enjoyed it for the most part. I did d/l and listen to this album, though. I’d have to agree with Willtuck that it’s quite good. All the songs are solid, and it really does flow well from track to track. It’ll go into my steady rotation for a while.

  5. OK, finally got some headphones at work and a chance to listen to this. I really enjoyed it. There were a couple of songs I didn’t care for (and one I outright disliked), but overall I liked the album. I never would have believed that I’d like anything from a subgenre called “shoegazing”, but this is some good music. I heartily recommend everyone give it a listen.

  6. found this randomly, but I’m glad you feel the same way. I love Catherine Wheel and this is definitely my favorite album. Certainly one of the most underated albums of all time by an already underated band.

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