Josh Catalano & The Dirty Thoughts – Give Away The Night (Independent)
Josh Catalano & The Dirty Thoughts (Keith Voegele, Patrick Miller and Jordan Laier) have been operating since 2011, though Catalano, Miller and Laier were all members of Springfield, Illinois favourites The Damwell Betters, and Voegele, as bassist in the Bottle Rockets, hardly lacks experience. Together, they’re a tight, well-oiled unit with a sound that errs towards Americana, but with a polished, progressive, contemporary rock edge. Put them on a playlist that includes Wilco and Counting Crows and they wouldn’t sound out of place.
The eight-track “Give Away The Night” makes for a fine introduction to the group. Catalano’s a singer-songwriter who engages with both disciplines, and The Dirty Thoughts understand the balance of light and shade, the importance of dynamics, and when to let rip. Opening cut “Night and Day” sets the scene; it’s primarily a song about desire, and it’s allowed to build beautifully, propelled by a mesh of instruments and Catalano’s song. The drama and longing of “When We Were Young” provides an emotional centre point, its rhythmic drive countering and adding energetic detail to the lyrical regret and sorrowful guitar. It’s followed by “New York Hearts”; this time a celebration of love and sex, it’s Big Apple imagery and classic Lloyd Cole-esque delivery adds much to its widescreen appeal. No shortage of knockout guitar soloing, either.