Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Caterpillar Tracks-Scrape The Summer EP

February 1, 2008

Phratry Records

Indie rock that “plays” the punk “card” and leaves much to be desired.

Punk is a word that people love to use when describing all types of music, even if the described music is not exactly in the punk genre. One can blame punk on its modest beginnings. Originally an outlet for the angry young born into the working class to express their blood, piss and vomit in musical form, punk has become a buzzword. Young rage turned into simple, fast chord progressions, leaving punk to inevitably evolve into a much more poppy sound.

Now Caterpillar Tracks claims a punk-oriented sound, but are these 30-something year-olds up to the task of capturing the raw, angry edge of working class youth? Caterpillar Tracks’ new EP Scrape The Summer actually feels more like a punkish- grunge. All of the songs, save for the last track, feel very similar in nature and lack variation. The last track “Midnight at the Taser Ground” feels like a complete phase shift with its drawn-out dark ambient soundscapes. “Midnight…” is almost long-winded in comparison to its high-energy, three-minute brethren.

As for the nature of the lyrics, nothing in them makes one angry or makes Caterpillar Tracks leaders of some revolution, but they try. On “It’s Scientific, G*dd*mn,” Shane Johnson yells “you’re left to your devices, you’re left to your detail.” Such words leave the listener spending so much time trying to figure out the meaning that all possible energy and intensity is lost. The fact that guitar solos exist on the album also detracts from the experience that is punk rock. It’s safe to say Scrape the Summer is more akin to alternative/grunge rock than socio-politically conscious punk.

– Tim Wallen

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Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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