The duo blew the doors off with their lead single "Radium Girls," which set speakers ablaze with frenetic guitar riffs and hard-hitting electro synths. With that attention-grabbing single, the rock smiths set the tone for what many hoped would be a long-form project of a similarly explosive caliber.
Those hopes are validated from the outset as the value proposition behind The Catastrophists becomes instantly clear in "The Devils Infantry." With the lyrics "there will be no dancing tonight," Morello and The Bloody Beetroots show they're not here to play by the conventional dance music playbook.
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Head-banging tracks are bountiful on this rock-meets-electro concept record. Although not to say this project doesn't have some interesting vocal choices, Ana Tijoux, for example, stands out as a highlight on the multi-lingual "Lightning Over Mexico." However, it's clear these two musicians aim to highlight their respective instrumental prowess, making for a somewhat unconventional arrangement in the present era of vocal-driven pop dance music.
Overall, it's safe to say the artists treated this EP like an instrumental playground. Implementing dynamic shifts in tone from the folk rock stylings of "Keep Going" to the face-melting guitar solos of "Field Of Tigers," The Catastrophists is an engaging listen from end to end.