The Cato Salsa Experience

Record Review

Phases and Stages

The Cato Salsa Experience

A Good Tip for a Good Time (Emperor Norton) What happens when a bunch of crazed Norwegian garage rockers get their hands on a mellotron, a moog, a horn section, and a theremin along with the usual assortment of guitars, bass, drums, and dimestore Farfisa organ? You wind up with something like the Cato Salsa Experience, and it's not always a good thing. This band has plenty of energy, the kind that promises a rabid, sweaty live show, but it only occasionally translates well onto CD. Things kick off with "Listen to Me Daddy-O," a melee of keyboard screeches along with a chant-and-rock instrumental reminiscent of Gary Glitter's "Rock and Roll Part I." "Lucky Girl" has an insistent bassline and wah-wah rhythm guitar that puts it into a well-greased Detroit sort of groove, while "Time to Freak Out!" is a riff-happy rocker that rolls like a freight train. Though the Catos can certainly rock like nobody's business, something's lacking in their songs. The band's extra keyboards tend to sound a little gimmicky at times, and every song on the disc is saturated with a dirty recording sound (not necessarily a bad thing). This band isn't afraid to step out of the narrow strictures of Sixties-style garage rock, but a few more catchy choruses would go a long way for them.

** .5

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