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Ferment

Catherine Wheel

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Album Review

Centered around re-recorded versions of four songs from the band's two Wilde Club singles and the seven minute lovelorn "Black Metallic" - which was referred to as the "Like a Hurricane" of the ‘90s - the deeply rich Ferment firmly established Catherine Wheel amongst the shoegaze contingent of the early ‘90s. The band would proceed to denounce the shoegaze tag, but it was a fitting one, at least with everything they released prior to 1993's harder edged Chrome. Along with bands like Lush, Ride, and Slowdive, Catherine Wheel buried their sing-along melodies in wafts of distortion and blurry production values. Rob Dickinson had yet to find comfort as a lead singer, so his somewhat fey and dazed emoting blended perfectly with Tim Friese-Greene's comfy production. A fair amount of the bands thrown into the same category as Catherine Wheel were criticized for lacking knowledge of their instruments, but a couple listens to Ferment should prove that they were hardly amateurish. The employment of numerous guitar pedals didn't serve as a smoke-and-mirrors ruse, and Friese-Greene knew enough to allow room for bassist Dave Hawes and drummer Neil Sims to flex their able muscles. Dickinson and lead guitarist Brian Futter were immensely skilled and complementary to each other from the band's inception; certainly they were one of the most unrecognized guitar duos of their stylistic brethren. Like all fine debuts, Ferment is varied emotionally, ranging from lust ("I Want to Touch You") to bliss ("Shallow" and "Salt"). It's a record that makes you want to crawl inside its sleeve and remain. It's as welcoming as it is insular and sheltered.

Customer Reviews

Possibly the Greatest Album of all Time that you've never heard of.

I challenge anyone to listen to this album and not fall in love with the very unique sound of Catherine Wheel (Ferment). I'm not much of a writer so I'll put my review this way; If I was to be buried alive but was given a choice of music to take with me, this album would be my first and only choice. Do yourself a favour and buy the entire album. Come back and write your own review. I'd be interested in hearing your take on it.

One of those albums!!!! Thank you Catherine Wheel

Simply, this album is so good I would buy it on Itunes and buy the cd. Absolutely one of the best albums I own by far!!!!! This album reminds me why I listen to music in the first place.

1st is best

Catherine Wheel's first album. Alot of British acsent, but a great alternative album. 'Black Metallic' is the greatest track here; mimiced by other bands... (Ex.: Hammock)

Biography

Formed: April, 1990 in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

By using their influences as a mere launching pad and consistently developing their many strengths, Catherine Wheel was able to outlast all of their early peers. With their initial singles and first album, the band from East Anglia fit snugly with the remainder of bands that the British press eventually labeled as shoegazers, a short-lived sub-scene of bands that were characterized by an inactive stage presence, loads of effects pedals, and buried vocals. However, the always tuneful Catherine Wheel...
Full bio