by Rafael Alvarez
They’re a band that comes from the town of Tempe, Arizona; they have toured with the likes of Sublime with Rome, The Dirty Heads, and Pepper; and they go by the name Katastro. That’s what you need to know.
Led by the tremendous vocals of Andy Chaves, Katastro gives the listener a unique brand of music that you can’t help but enjoy. It’ll make you bob your head, but at the same time, calm you down and feel at ease.
Katastro recently released their new album, No Mud No Lotus, and it is a bit different from their previous album, Gentle Predator. While Gentle Predator featured tracks that were more on the punk/reggae rock side, No Mud No Lotus has more of a pop/alternative type feel to it. While it is something different, the album still manages to contain great music, including singles such as “Scoreboard” and “Runaway” (which we play on The Blaze 1330 AM).
The nine-track album starts you off with an intro that appears to be playing various mixtures, or a rewinding, of the music that is to be featured. It’s followed by “The Better Half of Los Angeles,” which starts off with a slow tempo and eventually transitions into something more upbeat and continues in this way throughout in what is one of my favorite songs off the album.
“Scoreboard” carries on the calm rhythm of Katastro’s music, and it doesn’t surprise me that the band used this song as their lead single, as it features some of the more notorious lyrics off No Mud No Lotus, “I just wanna stare up at the sun and watch it melt away. I just wanna reach up to the stars, but they’re so far away.” Fair to say, Katastro’s great lyricism really stands out in this track.
What follows is “Begging to Borrow,” a wonderful mix of a psychedelic sound that resonates in the background, awesome vocals, amazing drum-playing, and short, yet fantastic, guitar riffs; this track really pinpoints every facet of the band’s ability.
The fifth track, “Voices,” is probably the slowest out of all the songs in regards to tempo, and it also gives you a glimpse of that type of rap feel Chaves can provide the listener with. During this track, you’re able to get a sense of how diverse of an artist Chaves is.
“Runaway” is a song that I heard even before No Mud No Lotus was released, as Katastro would play it at several of their concerts almost as if it was a preview of what was to come for the Tempe-based band. I knew that from the moment I heard this song at one of their concerts, they were on to something good, and it looks like I was right. Pretty cool of Katastro to allow their listeners to get a sneak peek of what they’re working on.
“Hey little lady, until the end of time,” is where the song “Sweet Tangerines” starts off. Here, nearly every type of genre that Katastro manifests is exhibited, as you get a hint of blues combined with punk/funk/alternative rock, resulting in an amazing song.
“A Basement Floor,” the eighth track on No Mud No Lotus, has that kind of jazz, soft rock vibe to it, and reminds me a little bit of Fleetwood Mac. The setting this song paints is that of you sitting in a coffee shop, sipping on a warm hazelnut coffee, or maybe something else depending your preference of drink; regardless, the result is enjoyable.
Katastro ends their album with “A Junkie And A Gentleman,” which somewhat has a more somber tone to it, and the impressive lyricism flows throughout once again in this track. There’s no doubt that Katastro’s multi-talented ability is shown in this final track.
Katastro’s distinct music allows them to play various types of genres, and not just focus on a specific one, which speaks volumes to how skilled the group is and how bright their future is as well. No Mud No Lotus is definitely something different, and sometimes you need something a little different to spice up your music playlist. Katastro definitely brings that spice and variety that is worth listening to, so definitely check it out.
Editor’s note: Katastro is playing a hometown show TOMORROW at the C.A.S.A. Block Party! Support local bands like Katastro by listening to The Blaze 1330 AM streaming 24/7 here.