It’s easy to forget it’s been 25 years Since Frank unleashed his hard rockin’ Catholics debut on the world and they carried on for some years making a right proper good din. getting a royal half-speed remaster it’s even louder than the original and the stripped-back band sounds sooo damn good. I’ll admit it’s been a while since I dived in on this album but when I do I still thoroughly enjoy it and this heavyweight version pays its rightful dues to the band and their output.

This is the first-ever re-issue of their self-titled album as a stand-alone vinyl release. The record has been mastered from the original tapes by Phil Kindrade at Air Studios, and this beautifully presented album is accompanied by a 5-page booklet and an Obi Strip.

Originally released in 1998, the backing group on this album performed on Frank Black’s previous album, ‘The Cult Of Ray‘ but the group name was first adopted on this release. Raw garage punk energy recorded live to two-track tape over the course of two days was initially intended as a series of demos. Black decided that they couldn’t be improved upon and released them as they were. This was the first album by a major artist to be commercially released on the Internet. Sounds bizarre now but it was.

All of the tracks are original Frank Black compositions except “Six-Sixty-Six”, which is a cover of a song by Larry Norman. Frank Black had long admired Norman, naming the first Pixies mini-album ‘Come On Pilgrim’, after a line in a Norman song. 

From the opening chords of ‘All My Ghosts’ the album rattles along and it’s not a stretch to find out these were live recordings intended to be demos but Frank didn’t want to mess with them or redo them in the studio so happy was he with the result of the sessions. the album feels like you’re sitting in on a session and the final cut of ‘Man Who Was Too Loud’ is my pick of the pops from this album. One of Franks’s best songs in my opinion but it is pushed close by the heavy riff-a-rama of ‘Solid Gold’ and Franks’s easy-going delivery on the lyrics is blissful.

It has been a joy these past few years seeing all the Black solo material getting dripped out with remasters and bonus material and never before on vinyl treats this is another that guitar rock fans should be all over like a rash. Bless you, Mr Black and all who plug in beside you.

Frank Black And The Catholics’ debut album go to

Author: Dom Daley