Something tells me I’ve heard this band before, but good or bad I don’t remember, and I’m too lazy to check. Whatever the case, I do think I’ll remember Southwest Doom Violence. Not necessarily for being a memorable album, but for having an extremely memorable vibe. We’ll start with what they get right, that being first and foremost a perfect guitar tone. A crystalline yet grime-infested replica of the classic Sunlight sound. I never get tired of this timbre, and Catheter are right up there with the likes of Black Breath and Trap Them as far as top-shelf Core-based bands using it as a weapon. For this band, that Core is Grindcore, although their remarkably seamless juxtaposition of styles within that frame —Sludge, Powerviolence, and even lethal doses of Mental Funeral-worshipping Death Metal— is another area they excel in. My complaints are few and relatively common for bands of this ilk. With 21 tracks in 28 minutes, the record flies by with no truly discernible tracks. Luckily they mix it up well enough that it’s enjoyable as a whole. The bigger hindrance here is a plethora of vocal styles with only a couple being winners. The low growls are terrific, almost Assuck-like in their sheer might, and the Putnam-esque shrill scream compliments them perfectly. But everything else needs to go. I’ve sadly outgrown that goofy Spazz bellow, and the bevy of limp-wristed, minor league Punk yells significantly detract from an otherwise invigorating listen. I could’ve also done without the PETA rant on album closer “In This Moment,” and I’ll leave it at that to avoid a pointless rant of my own. Nevertheless, a solid album that unfortunately could’ve been a lot better.
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