Catch 22 - Dinosaur Sounds (Cover Artwork)

Catch 22

Dinosaur Sounds (2003)


Catch 22 has enjoyed a multitude of highs and lows over the years, the worst of which being the loss of three lead singers in the band's first five years. Still, Catch 22 has surged forward, and remains standing, with their proud heads held high, and arms outstretched in a salute to a dying ska-punk genre, that just years earlier enjoyed the praises of every teenager in middle America.

The New Jersey native's third full-length Dinosaur Sounds, which Victory Records released nationally on November 4, serves as a bittersweet reminder to the band of what it once was, and how far it has come in its seven years together.

Ryan Eldred (saxophone) and Kevin Gunther (trumpet) verbally spar and switch vocal duties on the album's 13 tracks, while balancing their horn duties as well. The only problem this creates is that Kevin can not play the trumpet and sing at the same time, and likewise, Ryan can not possibly play the saxophone and sing at the same time. This glaring weakness highlights the band's struggles with finding a permanent vocalist, but it also shows the respect with which the band treats its current line-up; hell, if Catch 22 is happy with Ryan and Kevin on vocals, then why shouldn't the fans be?

Whereas previous releases featured smash hits such as "1,2,3,4", ""9MM and a Three Piece Suit", "Dear Sergio", and "What Goes Around Comes Around", Dinosaur Sounds fails to offer up a heaping serving of hot songs, however, the band spreads out the musical well-being of the record, leaving the album with no obvious weaknesses. "Wine Stained Lips", the band's first single, falls short of the band's earlier classics due to its lack of energy. Explosive horns, sped up punk rock verses, and gigantic 80s guitar hooks create an unusual song, that will no doubt leave you singing along, but the urgency of a "true hit" never appears.

Mr. Reggae, Mr. Funk, and Mrs. Jazz are all knocking on the door, and wouldn't you know that The Hardcore's invited them in just as they were leaving the party. That is right, the heavily influenced hardcore songs from Alone in a Crowd are mysteriously gone, leaving Catch 22 to experiment with reggae, jazz, funk, and rock on this record. "Beguile the Time", track two, is an obvious example of this laid back approach. The track highlight's both singer's voices in the chorus creating a wailing, spacey feel to the music and horns.

Lyrically Catch 22 creates a storyteller's aura through the lyrics, despire never taking themselves too seriously. The band plays music for fun, and realized the reason they are so popular is that kids can listen to their music and have a good time.

Don't come into this record with expectations, and you will glide right into the new Catch 22 with a smile plastered across your face.