When a debut album is released you always expect it to be a little rough around the edges. So it’s a pleasant surprise when a fully rounded and accomplished effort comes along straight from the off. When you first hear We Are Catchers self titled album, it sounds more like a bands third or fourth record. It has enough confidence to feel free of the reigns of the hit or miss first album, it has enough togetherness to skip over the troublesome second album, and nestles itself nicely in an area where bands would usually release their third or fourth efforts. Has this affected the overall quality of the music however?
We Are Catchers is vocalist/pianist Peter Jackson, and his skills at both are present from the very first chords of album opener Waters Edge. It sounds like a floaty 60s style jaunt around the west coast of America wonder, full of richness and born on a sea breeze. Hailing from Liverpool, Jackson puts this England meets the American coast vibe throughout the whole album, and it actually works really well. Tap Tap Tap is testament to this; being one of the standout tracks on the album, it creates images in your head of Northern Soul meeting Ian Brown down a dark ally and being bought two first class tickets to go and see the Beach Boys in America.
The Fear ups the tempo and happiness scale asking you to ‘hold tight’ as it takes you on a musical journey that leaves you feeling content but you don’t know why. Many tracks on the record work this magic, happy just to keep you entertained without really breaking a sweat. The Beatles-esque Thousand Steps is another standout song that will have you mesmerised by the layered vocals washing over the piano and creating a simple yet brilliant piece of music.
With all that the album does right however, it does fall short in some areas. The record can lull you into a false sense of security; it’s happy in its comfortable sound and doesn’t seem content to venture far from this. It maybe relies a little too heavily on the past, where a few new ideas could have been welcomed and introduced. Over the Hill starts off promising but quickly falls back into old habits whereas Where Are We isn’t the best choice for an album closer, being quite forgettable.
The albums greatness does override its problems however. But it could have been so much more had Jackson created a record that didn’t feel like it skipped over mistakes and experience gained from making a few records. It does however go to show the artists talents, and that he’s learned much more than he should have at this stage in his career – a bright future is definitely ahead if this debut is anything to go by.