Get your nostalgia fix and your catharsis hit in one in the latest album from the internationally scattered outfit, Winchester 7 & The Runners. Catacomb Songs was just one of the lockdown-born albums conceived via Zoom in 2021; notably, few albums advocate for the future of remote collaboration better than this 9-track release.
The hazy, smoky and garagey vibes in the ukulele-led indie rock album are just as sweet as any album from the Zombies, the Beatles and the Stones. There may be nothing like delving into your favourite records from decades past, yet Winchester 7 & the Runners have their relevant and resonant ennui as an upper hand.
The thought of an indie ukulele rock album may send the blood pressure of music snobs through the roof, but if anyone can change the reputation of the electric ukulele, it is Winchester 7 & the Runners. They know just how to pull the rich, warm timbre from the electric uke to compliment the equally as mellifluous vocals.
The album starts with the quasi-morbid single, Dead Celebrities and New Beginnings, which questions why new beginnings seem impossible for ordinary folk while the famous can enjoy posthumous transformations. Once Dead Celebrities and New Beginnings has grabbed your attention, the album kicks things down a notch with the 70s rock reminiscent single, The Song That You Sing, which opens up a new level of lyrical intimacy that continues through the duration of the album that is tinged with satirical wit and the rare sense of compassion that can only be extended from world-weary soul to another.
Here is what Winchester 7 had to say about Catacomb Songs:
“We released our previous EP, Argos Holiday, last year on December 17th to limited fanfare due to the pandemic. In the following months, we made the best use of our time, took to our home studios and worked via Zoom to produce a follow-up. Catacomb Songs is certainly pandemic influenced in places, especially Riding High Again, which was written in memoriam of a good friend that succumbed to alcoholism during it. However, there is also a message of hope and inspired joy that is directly related to the normalcy we found playing together, albeit apart, amidst the lockdowns and travel bans.”
Review by Amelia Vandergast