Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Catapilla - Catapilla CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.42 | 126 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Special Collaborator
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars An eclectic group from the early Seventies, Catapilla released two contrasting albums that boasted a tough but playful female singer and were full of furious and hair-tearing heavy jazz rock. A seven- piece group that wielded two saxophone players and another member on additional wind instruments, their self-titled debut in 1971 delivered two extended epics of endless improvised jamming passages with additional shorter compact pieces, aided by a welcome dirty production and a ferocious lively energy.

Arriving with droning sax before a filthy blast of heavy snarling guitar, the almost sixteen minute opener `Naked Death' slugs the listener in the face right from the start. A heady brew of thick and purring upfront bass, a battery of rumbling drumming with sax sultry and sweaty one minute, maddening and unhinged the next. The bookended voice of Anna Meek is anything but, instead she's a gutsy tornado of Janis Joplin-esque howling that resembles a witch and a banshee violently making love! She's really there to introduce and close a lengthy jam of funky breaks, jazz-fusion embers and fuzzy acid-rock blaring electric guitars, making for an epic full of great foot-tapping, head-nodding power throughout. The groovy `Tumblewood' is almost poppier in comparison with a sweet reflective lyric and Anna's voice taking on a cooing, motherly warmth in between constant little bluesy soloing from the fellas, and `Promises' slinks with funky danger and plenty of If-like call- and-response honking sax blasts.

But best of all might be the twenty-four minute second side `Embryonic Fusion', a whirling and unrelenting storm of dual-sax demolition, drifting ruminative clarinet, pumping distorted bass, brooding organ, a battery of rambunctious drumming and scuzzy acid-rock guitar-slinging. Anna's deranged voice drifts ethereally then erupts with foaming acid back and forth, the epic seamlessly transitioning in and out of sprightly up-tempo pounding jazzy runs, sombre and noisy Soft Machine- flavoured breaks and break-neck dying assaults. Constantly reprising musical themes worked in reign all the constant jamming commotion in cohesively without sacrificing intensity and vigor, and it delivers a fiery and dynamic conclusion.

Singer Meek's mostly roaring vocal may be a divisive issue for some listeners, but there is just so much great playing squeezed onto this lengthy 49 minute album, and while the follow-up album may offer a bit more subtlety and variety, this debut makes for an addictive and raucous blast of power all its own.

Four stars, but add an extra half star if you can handle the vocals!

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 4/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this CATAPILLA review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.