Last week monkey_matt gave me a CD to listen to, someone from the postgrad writing course he's starting soon is in a band and Monkey was kinda raving about them. He tried to describe the band's style to me but gave up and just got me to listen to the CD instead. I was supposed to text him over the weekend to tell him what I thought of it, I completely forgot to do that so now I bet he thinks I hate it. Couldn't be further from the truth!
So here, for the first time in ten years, is a proper music review the likes of which I used to submit to the student newspaper when I was at Uni...
About ten years ago I flirted with the idea of being a music journo. Seriously, I had this romanticised idea of being paid to go to gigs and listen to CDs before anyone else. It all came crashing down when I realised that, while that might well be the case, a lot of those gigs and CDs would be the seemingly endless parade of boy bands and reality TV show 'stars'. It would take more willpower than I have to wade through all of the dross to find a real gem.
So I gave up the idea, I didn't end up getting to listen to CDs pre-release, I have to pay to get into most gigs, and I don't always find the gems amidst the dross. Which is a damn shame because without having my finger on the pulse of the music world, there is a very good chance I might never have heard of Cayto. As it is, the CD (Blunderbuss) was put into my hands by a friend who firmly believed I would love it, and then by the end of the day was convinced I would hate it.
The word 'eclectic' doesn't begin to cover this stupendous album, the most obvious influences are Muse, early Radiohead (before Thom Yorke et al got lost up their own arseholes), Mozart, Oscar Peterson, System of a Down, Pink Floyd, Ramones - the list goes on ad infinitum.
The opening track 'Dorothy' provides a good insight into the album, starting with a gentle piano melody and soaring lyrics before becoming finger-clicking dinner jazz and finally crashing into a blistering heavy metal chorus before letting the listener take a breath by starting all over again. Throughout the album, the band play with musical genre, not so much crossing genre barriers as tearing them down, burning what's left and salting the ground they grew from.
The band's MySapce site describes their sound thus: "Intense punk rock music with strange song structures, classical and jazz leanings, lovely quiet bits and a wound-up clunking desperation victory feel. Tends to lurch between styles and emotions more often than you may be used to hearing." Even this does not sum them up, they defy classification, each track stands opposed to every other track.
On paper it shouldn't work, it should be a horrible mess of styles which make the ears bleed. But the thing is, it does work, it works bloody well.
With Blunderbuss Cayto will strip your soul bare, rub salt in the wounds and leave you clamouring for more.
Blunderbuss is currently on release on Rictus Records (http://www.rictusrecords.com)
Cayto's official site: http://www.cayto.com
Cayto's MySpace site: http://www.myspace.com/cayto (includes sample tracks)
Amazon.co.uk currently only have one copy left of Blunderbuss, it's available here