debut. There’s something instantly heartwarming about Cloud Catcher’s metal-like-mum-used-to-make approach to hard rock. Twin guitars, string-twisting riffs, howling vocals, devil references, sci-fi overtones and a sleeve image featuring two scary demons having a fight. What’s not to like?
There are echoes of previous greats, from Maiden to Sabbath and even Budgie in the twin guitar and pummelling bass drum on the opening Astral Warlord. And when Visions informs us, ‘I have seen a vision, Lucifer has risen/He’s the one you fear, judgement day is near,’ you feel like you’re on pleasingly familiar territory – perhaps too familiar for those who value a side order of originality with their musical comfort food.
However, it would be unfair to suggest that this is music mired in cliché and relying on conservative power trio tropes. Beyond The Electric Sun and the title track break down into gutsy extended jams and enhance the organic, valve-amped stoner feel that runs through their performances. For all the Hawkwind-style stargazing and myth-mongering, at its best, Cloud Catcher’s sound feels thrillingly, viscerally real.