The story of Cathartic began just over one year ago in Medicine Hat; they met in true rock and roll form, drunk. After starting out as a four piece, they decided to part ways with their fourth member, leaving Adam Koch on bass, Kevin Shawcross on vocals and guitar and Justin Boodhoo on drums.
Their album, Untimely Medi-tations, was recorded quickly at Absynthe Studios in Medicine
Hat, and the band has now moved to Calgary to pursue their dreams of rock stardom.
"The CD has a lot of Tea Party, Big Wreck, Zeppelin and Black Crowes in it," says Koch. "These are largely Kevin's influences and he wrote a lot of this album."
These influences add a layer of darkness to many of the songs that mix together with the occasional acoustic guitar to give the album a very diverse sound.
"I suppose the diversity is intrinsic to our collective natures," says Koch. "When Kevin comes to me with a basic verse/chorus idea, we try to break it down and build it back up with a spicier edge."
The collaborative song writing process adds an appeal to the band's music--it is hard to guess which way the song will go next. As a listener it is always enjoyable to be kept on your toes, something that should lead to a live show that is quite distinctive from the CD.
"I don't think there is a song on the CD that we still play exactly the same as you hear it. Either we put a piece of another song into it, or we jam on an improvised bit, or else we've extended or otherwise modified the song. It keeps them from getting stale."
Breaking into the local music scene has not been easy for Cathartic. They've observed that the scene is largely based on punk or folk, so an eclectic rock band has some trouble finding a niche. It also hasn't helped that their drummer was injured and the band had to find a temporary replacement.
"We're not the best thing to ever hit music, and we're not the next Zeppelin or Kiss or Nickelback. We are a rock band with no real preconceived notions about ourselves."
Cathartic play live December 5 at the Metro, and their CD, Untimely Meditations, will be available at the show.