Catus was once considered the Americanized version of Led Zeppelin, although, I can’t hear that resemblance. I hear more of a Mountain. But, one thing is for sure, they were considered as a Hard Rock, Blues, and Heavy Metal band. 1971, saw the release of “One Way…or Another.” Catus was made up of vocalist Rusty Day, just fresh out of the Ted Nugent’s Amboy Dukes. He was backed by bassist Tom Bogert, drummer Carmine Appice and guitarist Jim McCarty.
Overall production sounds pretty good. The song structures themselves are based upon a polished heavy Blues style of Hard Rock. It has a collection of upbeat tempos as well as some slower tempos that are mild. “Song For Aries” is the only so called ballad on this record. The overall sound is centered around the heavier sound of the electric guitar. While other songs are centered around the milder tome of the acoustic guitar. The overall flow is decent. The album is spread apart so that the acoustical pieces of work don’t bogged the album down from those faster tempos. There are traces of some psychedelic influences, no doubt left over from the late 1960’s.
Musicianship is pretty tight and the instrumentation is good. Most of the songs are centered around more of the guitar scales with the bass following behind. Jim McCarty is no doubt a great guitarist of his time. His scales, leads and riffs is what make this record good. His riffs and leads have a great fuzz tone that makes the album sound raw, deep and gritty. He does put forward a great effort creating some very enjoyable riffs that in some cases are very heavy for the time.
Tom Bogert bass work is also another added tool that makes the music flow nicely. His scales, matched to the guitar set the pace of the music. He too, helps to give the overall sound that heaviness one hears periodically throughout the album . Bridging the gap is the talented drummer Carmine Appice. His tempos, offbeats and style makes is what helps to give this record that hard crunchy sound. Rusty Day’s vocal style really gives the music that feeling of the Blues. He’s a mid range vocalist that almost seems to be drenched in whiskey. All musicians really know how to play the Blues.
Catus is just one of those bands that was popular during the 1970’s. If you ask most people today, many if not all of them would say “Never heard of them.” One thing is for sure, they helped to bridge the gap of the Hard Rock Blues scene that was being controlled by many of those bands from England and Australia. Their style was like so many others at the time, and maybe that’s why time has forgotten them today.
“Long Tall Sally” – 5:54
“Rockout Whatever You Feel Like” – 4:00
“Rock N’ Roll Children” – 5:44
“Big Mama Boogie – Parts I & II” – 5:29
“Feel So Bad” – 5:31
“Song For Aries” – 3:05
“Hometown Bust” – 6:39
“One Way . . . Way Or Another” – 5:06