As with many rock bands, Catalina Shortwave’s story starts in a basement. So what’s special here?
Well, for starters, this was a basement in New England, in winter. Unless you’re well heeled, that means it was very, very cold. And very, very wet. That is how Catalina Shortwave started. Cold, wet, and penniless. Their first release, 2014’s Repeater, was produced in a chilled basement on the barest of budgets, which is a nice way of saying that everything they used to make it was begged for, borrowed, or stolen. Repeater was lo-fi and raw, but the band’s songwriting and its strong performances shined.
Now comes Catalina Shortwave with its second release, Radio Voodoo: Songs from the Dark End of the Dial, an offering that brings together the pluses of professional production with the immediacy and honesty of the best of DIY.
Catalina Shortwave is based in western Connecticut, U.S.A. Radio Voodoo is a collection of 7 new songs delivered with the band’s characteristic emotional intensity, exploring dark themes of love and betrayal, longing and loss in a manner that is both intelligent and accessible – such as with `Anne Boleyn,’ a punkish rocker told from the perspective of Boleyn’s jilted lover, who mourns her decision to marry King Henry but is not too unhappy that things haven’t worked out for her as planned. It is a familiar story, but the band turns to history to tell it.
David Rizzo (words and vocals), Martin Stauffer (guitars), Keith Morey (guitars), Roy Scaturo (bass guitar) and John Garvey (drums) all live in or around hilly Ridgefield, Connecticut, where for the past two years they have been creating, rehearsing and recording their music in a roomy log cabin-looking studio in the New England woods. And when not there, Catalina Shortwave can be caught playing clubs all over their home state and just-within-reach New York City, with occasional junkets elsewhere, bringing their supercharged and riveting live shows to the growing base of rockers, punks, metalheads and even lovers of the blues and soul that are drawn to something fresh and yet familiar in their sound. To the initiated this comes as no surprise, for Catalina Shortwave are veteran musicians who’ve played in touring disco bands in the 70s (Roy), thrashcore bands a bit more recently (John), and a slew of other known or obscure outfits spanning punk to country-rock to power metal (everyone else).
As Catalina Shortwave continues to tour the northeastern and mid-Atlantic United States to promote Radio Voodoo, they have been hard at work recording their next release, due early 2016. New avenues will be explored, they say, both as to themes and to their songwriting. Radio Voodoo can be purchased online at Amazon.com, iTunes, CD Baby and all other major distribution outlets. Physical copies of their releases are available at Amazon, CD Baby and at their performances.