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Music: Catherine Wheel

Catherine Wheel is not a solo artist, but in fact a band. Now that I have cleared that up, they were formed in 1990 in the UK. The band consisted of Rob Dickinson (cousin of Bruce Dickinson from Iron Maiden), Brian Futter, Dave Hawes (replaced by Ben Ellis in 1999), and Neil Sims. They started out as a shoegaze pioneer, but one of the more memorable ones. Their albums Ferment (1992) and Chrome (1993) are considered both classics.

Over the years of their existence, they tried to shrug the "shoegaze" label off of them and just went into writing their own music. This, arguably, was a bad idea for them. They slowly got less and less critically acclaimed, and their commercial success fluctuated.

After releasing the mostly unsuccessful Wishville in 2000, the band split. Dickinson went on to be a solo artist, Futter and Sims recorded an album under the name 50ft Monster, and Ellis joined the band Serafin. Ferment and Chrome are still highly regarded, being early examples of "metalgaze".

Catherine Wheel discography

  • Painful Thing (1991, EP)
  • Ferment (1992)
  • Chrome (1993)
  • Happy Days (1995)
  • Like Cats and Dogs (1996, compilation of outtakes, B-sides and covers)
  • Adam and Eve (1997)
  • Wishville (2000)

Catherine Wheel contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Creator Backlash: They were so desperate to shrug off the "shoegaze" label that they completely changed their sound by their 4th album.
  • Epic Rocking: "Black Metallic" and "Fripp"
  • Lyrical Dissonance: One of their gentlest songs also has some of their angriest lyrics and song title, "Eat My Dust You Insensitive Fuck".
  • Meaningful Name: Their name is a reference to a type of firework, which is pretty meaningful especially with the subject matter of their music.

Cat PowerAlternative IndieNick Cave

alternative title(s): Catherine Wheel
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