Frank Black and The Catholics
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Performer Notes
  • Frank Black And The Catholics: Frank Black (vocals, guitar); Lyle Workman (guitar); David MacCaffrey (bass, background vocals); Scott Boutier (drums).
  • Recorded live to two-track in March 1997.
  • Never trust an artist's opinion on his own recordings. Frank Black calls Frank Black and the Catholics the "best recording [he] ever made," ignoring a decade worth of great, innovative indie rock. A better assessment may be: Frank Black and the Catholics is the most direct record he's ever made. If you just want garage punk, stripped of all the odd time signatures, subverted chord progressions, cryptic lyrics, and sonic experimentation that marked his first two albums, as well as his work with the Pixies, this album may satisfy your needs. Then again, all those "frills" were part of the reason Black was such a respected and influential artist, and without them he sounds disturbingly conventional. Fortunately, The Catholics doesn't trade in the sub-metal clich?s that plagued The Cult of Ray, concentrating on straight-ahead garage punk. There are some good hooks on the songs and the performances have some real energy, but all the songs wind up blending into each other by the end of the record. On the whole, it's a step forward from The Cult of Ray, but it still feels like a retreat from his entire body of work. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Professional Reviews
Rolling Stone (10/29/98, p.77) - 3.5 Stars (out of 5) - "...It's a proud, raw rock & roll statement, full of beseeching verses and devastatingly simple hooks--melodies that not only test Black's expressive range but also find him acknowledging some of his influences..."
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