Catch 22 - Dinosaur Sounds (Cover Artwork)

Catch 22

Dinosaur Sounds (2003)


Hey, Catch 22 fans! Are you ready for another round of the gritty vocal stylings of Tomas Kalnoky? Oh, that's right, he left the band- but don't worry! In his place, Jeff Davidson supplies witty lyrics along with his solid voice, making for a great follow up to Alone In A Crowd. Oh, that's right! Jeff Davidson also left the band. So, naturally, Catch 22 has a great new voice for a new age of ska, right? Well, no, not exactly.

When everybody learned of Jeff Davidson's departure, there was a multiple-month gap in which Catch fans wondered, "who will be the new lead singer?" After much speculation, we finally had our answer- Ryan Eldred, a current band member, would take on the singing duties. Early reports in were that it just wasn't the same, and I didn't want to believe it- as a devout Catch 22 fan, I wanted to believe the boys from New Jersey could rebound with a new album that reeked of punk-ska goodness.

In the end, the boys delivered- it was just a terrible delivery job. Our first peak at the new Catch 22, a song called "Wine Stained Lips", was disappointing, to say the least. This rings true for the whole album- Ryan Eldred has a unique singing voice, but writes terrible lyrics and could not write a chorus if his life depended on it. "Rocky", the opener on the album, sings a very true message- "it started with you, you started with me, it started w ith you, it ends with me." And this could be painfully true- the end of the Catch 22 we know and love is imminent. The witty lyrics are gone- the memorable horns take the Less Than Jake "Anthem" route- there's less and less of everything.

The most memorable song on this album, "Good Times", is still extremely mediocre- it has it's good parts and bad parts. The chorus of "Who can I count on? What can I count on? Where should I turn to? Why should I be with you" makes me cringe. Catch 22 certainly knows how to take the fire out of a song with a terrible chorus.

What's so frustrating is the potential- there are some songs that show greatness, but never come close to achieving it. "Motown Cinderella" has a second chorus that transitions into a bridge that features Ryan Eldred flexing his vocals, reminiscent of Brand New's Jesse Lacey in Deja Entendu. Yet something is missing- something that Jeff Davidson brought to the band, something that Tomas Kalnoky never failed to bring to the band.

"Dinosaur Sounds" held a lot of promise- songs like Dreams Of Venus and Chasing The Moon hold some temporary greatness- but they never quite reach it. It would seem the old Catch 22 we all know and love is forever gone. So here's the bottom line- I think we should officially rename Catch 22- because a certain Streetlight Manifesto has earned the right to tote the name that synonymous with the Punk Ska that we all know and love.