By Erin Christie
Rising from the ashes in the midst of worldwide upheaval, NY five-piece Catcher aren’t afraid to shake the table a bit, made abundantly clear considering the bold attitude amidst the circumstances in which they're making their debut.
Within the past few months, the band came together through past connection, sheer willpower, and perfect timing, with members Austin Eichler (vocals), Wilson Chestney (drums), and Cameron McRae (bass) having already been part of a different band (Sadie and the Ladies) for roughly two years prior (in addition to living together presently), and their two newly inducted guitarists, Christian Reech and Jack Young, having been recruited just last month via a respective Craigslist advertisement and fated match on the band’s shared Tinder account (which they made with the sole purpose of finding a guitarist).
As Catcher was coming together while in lockdown, Austin, Wilson, and Cameron holed up in their shared Brooklyn apartment, working sporadically with occasional ventures to their studio space whenever their schedules lined up and allowed free time to work on their demos together. Inspired to do something different than what they'd done before, the boys sat down, delving into literature from the likes of Graham Greene, Mikhail Bulgakov, Jean Genet, and J.G. Ballard, in addition to music from artists such as Puce Mary, T.P. Orchestre Poly-Rhythmo, and even Johnny Cash, to craft their official debut singles — “Yesterday’s Favorite” b/w “The Skin." Finally, the fruit of their labor has come to light today, following a teaser or two on their socials earlier this month.
Chilling undertones and blaring noise set the scene with the arrival of “Yesterday’s Favorite,” the single kicking into action with marching drums and drawn-out, sighing vocality on behalf of frontman Austin Eichler. Haunting bass lines smooth over the sonic landscape, adding an element of control to the jagged combination of sounds, with an infectious delivery of feedback inducing a harsh element of cool all the while. At the back half, fuzzed-out riffery spans out in the hopes of getting one’s heart pumping even faster, creating an anticipatory backdrop for the arrival of an inevitable breakdown. Next, a slow-burning head-roller entitled “The Skin” opens with drawling, fuzzed-out instrumentation, drawing comparison to the dreary, slurred inclinations of groups such as Copenhagen’s Iceage. Devilishly laid back, as if the band is moving underwater as they perform, the track is delivered with an infectiously lurid snarl, before it’s later amped up a couple of notches with a smattering of smashing symbols and breakneck, unabashed, and freeform melodies.
To add to the madness, “Yesterday’s Favorite” also comes alongside a matching visual, a collage of hauntingly beautiful free domain documentary footage of a sculptor who made his living and dedicated much of his time to crafting sculptures bearing the likeness of religious idols.
As vocalist and primary lyricist Austin Eichler said of the songs via a press release: “The two singles are oddly similar in subject matter. ‘Yesterday’s Favorite’ is a kind of reflective piece on 3 different memories of a person who is at the end of their life due to old age. I think this one came from the old man with dementia that I am a caretaker for. Although the stories are not his, I think I definitely had him in mind when I sat down to write this one. It was a tough song to figure out; I think I wrote the song 6 different times, all with different subject matter and references before I actually came to this one and just had to let go of it for the sake of having it released. ‘The Skin’ is also a kind of nostalgic song in a different way. It’s loosely about a person who is at the end of their rope and sees the sun as a metaphor for a lot of their most fond memories, but also their darkest ones.”
Expressive and larger-than-life, Catcher casts a wide stroke, their debut singles calling back to hallmarks of post-punk greats, while simultaneously adding an element of their individual new-world flair. While their music is cannily melancholy and shrouded in a cloak of darkness, the presence of Catcher themselves is a beacon of light cast upon this dreary time — with this double release, they’ve cemented themselves among the many hopeful NYC bands vying for their 15-minutes, but, in their specific case, it’s certain that they’re destined for greatness.
Keep up to date with Catcher via their socials, listed below, and catch them performing live on May 15th from (a SOLD OUT gig at) Gold Sounds Bar in Brooklyn, NY. More info can be found here.