The Catalyst - Marianas Trench [12 inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Catalyst

Marianas Trench [12 inch] (2007)

The Perpetual Motion Machine / No Signal

No question: The Catalyst produce their best material to date with the one-sided LP EP, Marianas Trench. Beautifully ugly cover art only begins to hint at the content inside.

Press materials compare the Richmond-based act to Unwound, the Jesus Lizard, the Melvins and Nirvana. Keeping in mind they're implying Nirvana's less "Teen Spirit" moments, this is totally accurate and hard to disagree with. Marianas Trench squeals and peels in expert fashion with heavy, noisy, hardcore/rock and disgusting levels of distortion on everything, included the buried yet somewhat decipherable vocals. It's so ugly it's endearing.

Shards of feedback pierce the air every so often, from the opening stop-start drum fills of the superbly intense "This Bike Is a Gravity Bong" (think Unwound's "Lucky Acid") to closer "Attention Deficit Distortion" (think a beaten, bruised and bloody "Milk It" by Nirvana). There's even the instrumental (I believe) "Proceed with Caution," which offers surprisingly quieter moments that melt its molded grip on the listener a bit.

It's weird to say that the Catalyst sound more focused and sharp than they ever have with songs that are purely cacophonous, confusingly angry hardcore-reared blasts. However, that seems to be an apt and precise judgement of Marianas Trench.

This Bike Is a Gravity Bong