Mass Movement of the Moth / The Catalyst - Two Thousand and 666 (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Mass Movement of the Moth / The Catalyst

Two Thousand and 666 (2006)

The Perpetual Motion Machine

Seeing Mass Movement of the Moth live was one of the most underwhelming show-going experiences that I can recall since I started attending them. Spoken of highly by several people whose opinions I trusted, I was expecting great things from their live show. Maybe it was how hackneyed the flow of the night was thanks to an under-prepared promoter, the fact that they took half an hour to set up, or just the lack of people in attendance and excitement in the room, but the fact of the matter is the show completely sucked.

So naturally, I was expecting no better from their split with the Catalyst. It's an interesting dichotomy, as instead of the first half of the album being one band and the second half the other, they opt for a back-and-forth flow. While I respect the fact that they wanted to try something different, I cannot help but think that MMOTM's synth-inundated obnoxiousness mucked up the flow of things and made it tough for me to enjoy the sludgy punk rock that the Catalyst so emphatically provides.

The latter would fit in very well in Louisville with fellow mayhem-enthusiasts like Lords and Coliseum, as their noisy punk rock stylings are slick and abrasive all at the same time. Generally operating at quick punk rock pace, the Catalyst are heavy on the distortion and light on the bullshit. There's no rampant synthesizer use or shrill vocals like their counterparts in the Moth propagate -- it's just no frills, unbridled noise. But noise with style, as the band's vocalist effortlessly alternates between a deep delivery and a choppy howl perfectly suited to the rambunctious rhythms that carry the brunt of the song underneath it. They even excel in an instrumental setting, as "Thirsty Like Water Thirsty" perfectly shows. They execute the sludgy riffing and waves of feedback well enough to maintain an interesting track for its short three-minute duration. Once again, however, their counterparts don't have quite the style Catalyst do, and follow up that instrumental track with one heavy on synthesizers and short on direction. They're competent enough musicians, but their problem lies in the inability to realize what aspects of their songs are annoying, and thus do nothing to curb those annoyances.

The Catalyst's portion of this split is a great one, but due to the tracking and MMOTM's propensity to muck up the flow and rhythm with bland music and overbearing synthesizers…it goes nowhere. Quite a shame.