Review: Katastro – Gentle Predator

Review: Katastro – Gentle Predator

Katastro – Gentle Predator
Track Listing
1.) Move Like Creatures
2.) Watch It Burn
3.) You & I Wait
4.) Alone
5.) Angles
6.) Fallen
7.) Gentle Predator

The Pier Album Rating:

Release Date: Oct 11th, 2011
Record Label: INgrooves
Official Website: Katastro Website

Group Background:
Katastro has come together through diverse musical backgrounds, as the members of the Arizona based band create a unique sound, blending hip-hop, blues, jazz, funk and rock. The four-piece band formed in 2007 by vocalist Andy Chaves, drummer Andrew Stravers and guitarist Tanner Riccio, later joined by bassist Ryan Weddle, completing their eclectic sound.

With anticipation building, Katastro has released three previous albums, a six-song EP dubbed “The Wonderful Daze” in 2007, “The Facts” in 2008, and their most recent release “Poking Holes In A Pattern” produced by Bob Hoag, which was release in 2009. Their most anticipated project to date entitled, “Gentle Predator” will be released and distributed through INgrooves on October 11th, 2011. “Gentle Predator” was recorded at The Den Recorders in Pasadena, California with Joe Fikany (B Foundation) producing and Eddie Ponce mixing the tracks.

Album Review:
After three previous EP releases since 2007, Katastro’s highly anticipated fourth album release “Gentle Predator” exceeds expectations. The opening track “Move Like Creatures” sets the tone for the remaining six tracks. The hard-hitting drumbeats of Andrew Stravers are easily identified. In fact, the funky beats mixed with Andy Chaves hip-hop flow meshes seamlessly from the opening track to the album finale of the self-titled track “Gentle Predator”. Yet, in between the guitar riffs and solos by Tanner Riccio can’t be overlooked, including the head-pounding baselines of Ryan Weddle.

The album brings a get-up-and-jump style to the forefront. Yet, the lyrics entice you to sing-a-long with the catchy choruses throughout the album, starting as soon as you press play: “Cause I’m her sin, and she’s my queen. We can’t leave it alone. I’m right here, on my knees, and I can’t breathe no more…”

“Move Like Creatures” is a high-energy jam from Katastro, but not every song brings the same fire as the opening track. “Watch It Burn,” is a soulful song opening up with a gentle acoustic guitar supported by heartfelt and reminiscent lyrics, with fat grooves to add girth to the semi-acoustic track. Although this track is not the self-titled track or album opener, with the combination of acoustic and electric guitars simultaneously, it was my favorite.

The emotions were felt deeply with Katastro’s fourth track “Alone”. If you ever felt lost, or missing a significant other, “Alone” would pick you up off the floor with positivity! The background vocals were felt heavier than ever on this track. Even though it was a simple breath, the simplicity was impactful.

Katastro expressed that for this album, “We went in having everything ready which really gave us the time we have never had to sit on it and think about exactly what it was we wanted our product to turn out like.” Whether “Angels” was an on the spot, or pre-produced track before entering the studio, a live/acoustic set was implemented. Needless to say, the end product was nothing short of positive.

For the finale, “Gentle Predator” utilized an in your face, up-tempo ballad to keep their ever-growing fan base intrigued, and asking for more. The lyrics might be repetitive, but they hit the soul like a fastball. “Stick to your love and follow your dreams…”

Overall, the album “Gentle Predator” escalated Katastro to another level. This album was their most refined piece of art to date, but I was left wanting more! That is not necessarily a bad thing, but the seven-song album still left me hungry for more. Perhaps that was the idea. After all, what are concerts for?

Katastro might not be the most notable act in the reggae-rock community, but their sound is progressing with each recording session. “Gentle Predator” was evidence of their progression throughout their stages of advancement. With this release set to hit stores on October 11th, past fans and new fans will be anxiously awaiting their next release and next local concert to get a taste of the “Gentle Predators” known as Katastro in their own element!

Written & Reviewed by: Kris Siuta

[Editors Note: All reviews are reflective of the album in it’s entirety, from start to finish. These reviews are the honest opinion of each writer/reviewer, expressing their feedback as a genuine fan of the music. Each star rating reflects their review of the album, not the band. Music is subjective. Regardless of the review or star rating, we encourage you to listen to the music yourself & form your own opinion. Spread the awareness of all music in its art & contribution]