As the Hassle’s resident reviewer of pretty much all things Sacred Bones, you better believe I’ve been enjoying the hell out of Catharsis, the debut long-player from Austin punx Institute. Back at the beginning of this year, when reviewing their EP Salt, I praised the band for their “raw and economical take no prisoners attitude,” and singer Moses Brown in particular for his “wailing, possessed, threatening but sardonic” vocals.
The good news is, all that praise carries right over onto Catharsis. These Texas fixtures (featuring members of such standout punk groups as Glue and Wiccans, among others) still wear their anarcho-punk and deathrock influences on their (presumably black) sleeves. However, this time around the group has stretched the format considerably, incorporating acoustic guitars, psych rock, and kraut influences into their gnarled and tense songwriting arrangements. The loose, ambling “Christian Right” in general (featuring a guest appearance from Andrew of Parquet Courts) is a welcome change of dynamic.
Brown’s lyrics certainly give meaning and weight to the album’s simple title. He’s described the album as “…a vehicle to put things out in the open that I haven’t necessarily told anyone. The songs are about my faults, my insecurities, my existence, my relationships, my childhood. I’m thoroughly disappointed in myself.”
Of course, we are often our own worst critic, and although I do not know the man personally, I can say that at least in terms of artistic output, he is anything but disappointing.
Catharsis is available now on Sacred Bones.