We Are Catchers – We Are Catchers
Liverpool native, Peter Jackson, working under the monika ‘We Are Catchers’, releases his debut album of the same name.The opening track, ‘Water’s Edge’, is definitely one of the album’s defining pillars. It has all the wistful, easy-going contemplation of an opener to introduce the listener to the themes of discovery, hope and escape. As a keyboardist in previous incarnations, this is a great display of how a piano successfully takes front and centre. Even with the keys hammering out heavy major chords, it doesn’t throw off the balance of the album.
We Are Catchers captures those fine elements which make up that undeniable late ‘60s pop-rock sound; the warm timbre of the piano, recessed vocals, a wandering guitar (courtesy of The Coral’s Bill Ryder-Jones), a tambourine for body and drums that do nothing more than keep casual time. The Beach Boys’ ‘God Only Knows’ is a good auditory example of the vibes Peter gives off. The entire album looks out, wonders for, lusts after and contemplates – harking towards that Californian ideal but tugged back to reality by the reminiscing, mournful sound that Liverpool’s infamous music scene dictates. Although difficult to place, after further listening (four times across as many days to be exact) the album slowly reveals itself to be the child of transatlantic, star-crossed lovers.
The jury is still out on the lyrics as the amount of in-verse duplication and simplistic rhyming could be seen as either intentional or unimaginative. The Does this album deliver weary track after weary track or does it boldly stick a theme? Does the pace crawl or does it comfortably hover? Is it kitsch or simply reimagined? Is “cool minimalism” just a stylised adjective to describe tedious repetition? We Are Catchers lies precariously in the middle field, and even after receiving the album blueprints (in the form of a press release) to tell you what’s happening, there is still a struggle to see the bigger picture.
The aaah-ing and oooh-ing of the choral harmonies laps in and out against the soft, sandy meandering vocals on the album. There aren’t many crashes nor swells, just an ocean of calm. ‘Tap Tap Tap’ is the most fast-paced track you’ll find (still only at walking speed) whilst ‘If You Decide’ has a tender pace and anticlimactic melody which would have been a standout ballad if the album showed more contrasting colours.
Regardless, this album does deserve all the attention and accolades it can muster because there’s nobody in the market pushing this scene. It is a very difficult era in sound to pin down and We Are Catchers takes a perfect Polaroid of this formative period in Rock ‘n’ Roll and puts it into music. There’s definitely a vision, hopefully everyone will realise it’s a good one.