Katapult is the third album from The Wednesday Club, which I was slightly disappointed to find is not the “8-Piece Soul, Funk, Pop, Indie and Rhythm & Blues covers band” from Glossop but is the Leeds-based four-piece that includes Medusa Snare and ex-Manhattan Love Suicide Adam John Miller (bass, vocals) together with John Perry and Max Broady on guitars and vocals and Jack Rutter on drums.
After one play, it wasn’t just the record that was spinning; my mind whirled with the variety and invention of the songs, a product of the presence of three songwriters in the band. My first thought was that there was too much diversity but that notion was dispelled by repeated plays, which reveal more and more impressive tunes plus some clever amuse bouches that punctuate the song order. Clearly the band are possessed by the spirit of chaos and a sense of fun. ‘Citalogasm’, the final track, is a brilliant stream of Magic Roundabout-esque carnival pop, where a kid’s choir delivers an almost endless joyful refrain: “fuck the world/ fuck the whole wide world”. If only it was on vinyl with a locked groove!
It’s a treasure trove of great sounds. The infectious ‘Trust Thing’ is like an afrobeat June Brides while the fast and fuzzy pop of ‘European Veins’ reminds you of Adam’s past in the Manhattans. At times I hear the Bad Seeds, Wire and Yo La Tengo, and the whole record shows off a mess of sounds swiped from the coolest record collections. A collective love of US alt.rock like Guided By Voices and Pavement shines through on ‘As Above So Below’ which references some arcane magical expression and chills you with its lyrics (“the demons we’re trying to raise are real”) while soothing you with its twisty pop. There are touches of elegant dream-pop (‘Hit By Teeth II’) and folk-pop (‘Schrodinger's Catflap’) while the honeyed melancholy of ‘Stephen’s House’ is Pastels-flavoured melodic indiepop.
It leaves the reviewer in me a touch disappointed that there are no glib categorisations for the band, but the music fan in me is delighted to find a record that wears its influences so audibly and un-selfconsciously and that produces a pandemonium of exciting indiepop to burn away any winter blues.