Regress, kids: "I dare you. I double dare you."
To do what? It hardly ever mattered. To call the shopkeeper fat, or to steal a Mars bar or two from right under their nose. So what? So little meant so much for such a tiny amount of time that the idea of a dare was totally trivialised. No more. Now I dare you. I dare you not to fall in love with Caterpillar Ghost. I'm confident you'll lose this one; the stakes are considerably higher.
The name won't mean a whole lot to that many right now, but in their native Sweden Caterpillar Ghost have enjoyed gigs alongside such diverse domestic icons as Fireside and Breach. (Now, if you're asking who they are, then you should have pulled out of this dare a paragraph ago.) Formed in Uppsala at the tail end of the last millennium, this quartet's primary selling point in the UK - on paper, anyway - is that they count a member of the intoxicatingly gorgeous Jeniferever amongst their ranks, Martin Sandström. That's a toe in the door, then, but a cursory listen to My Beautiful Revolution damn near tears the thing from its hinges. Slowly, of course.
With three songs spread over five tracks - 'Exit' is split into three suites, 'The Embrace', 'A Season Unseen' and 'True Bypass' - this is a richly textured twenty-minute trip into a divine sense of serenity. The title track has been heard before on last year's recommended compilation The Shit (check here for a review), but its beauty is no less beguiling a second or third time around. If that triple-pronged opener sounds a little prog for you, fear not - it's a stunningly realised venture through muted post-rock rumblings and rolling drums at midnight into sweet, unhurried harmonies echoing around faraway stars, the eventual decent into glorious crimson skies at dawn leaving the listener breathless yet comfortable. Only closer 'La Forza Maggiore' threatens to twist amplifier levels into territories reserved for absolute rock, although while vocals get noticeably agitated, the clattering guitars remain calm and in control. Frontman Henrik Wikner howls as if in some sort of indescribable pain, a mysterious ailment considering his stunning surroundings. Then again, even the prettiest rose wields a few thorns.
Comparisons can and will be made to obvious outfits - hello Mogwai, Sigur Ros et al - but one is left with the impression that, if given time to develop and expand upon these sturdy foundations, Caterpillar Ghost may yet surprise and enthrall parties unmoved by their (frankly silly) name and background. My Beautiful Revolution, that title track in particular, is a work of delicate precision, of enduring love and, appropriately, revelatory beauty.
This dare is won, and over. You, however, should simply be won over. And rightly so.
9Mike Diver's Score