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

Frank Black And The Catholics  ‘Snake Oil’ and ‘Live At Melkweg (Expanded Edition)’ both released on vinyl formats for the first time on 20th January 2023
pre-order Here

On 20th January 2023 Demon Records release two Frank Black And The Catholics albums, which have never been previously available on these vinyl formats.  

Both ‘Snake Oil’ and  ‘Live At Melkweg (Expanded Edition)’ are lovingly issued on 140g vinyl: ‘Snake Oil’ has only been released digitally before, while ‘Live At Melkweg (Expanded Edition)’  will be available on 3 LPs featuring the 38 song show in its entirety, including 18 previously unreleased tracks.

Between 1998 and 2003, Frank Black and Co. released six albums under the ‘Frank Black And TheCatholics’ moniker. All recorded live and direct to two track tape, the music created with theCatholics is some of the most energised, raw, and essential of Frank Black’s career. ‘Snake Oil’ is acollection of cover versions recorded in the studio during this prolific period.

Highlights include thunderous takes of Bob Dylan’s ‘Changing Of The Guards’, Bruce Springsteen’s‘I’m Going Down’, and Angst’s ‘Some Things (I Can’t Get Used To)’.

This is the first physical release of ‘Snake Oil’, and has been newly remastered by Phil Kinrade at AIR Mastering, with new artwork featuring photographs by Steve Gullick.

Recorded on tour in support of 2001’s ‘Dog In The Sand’ album, ‘Live At Melkweg’ captures Frank Black And The Catholics at the peak of their powers, tearing through an expansive setlist which touches on all corners of Frank Black’s vast catalogue.

An essential release for Frank Black fans, ‘Live At Melkweg’ marks the first time a complete Catholics’ show has been officially released. This newly expanded edition features the 38 song show in its entirety 
Highlights include a haunting take on Pixies ‘Gouge Away’, Frank Black classic ‘Headache’, and selections from the Catholics’ repertoire including ‘I Will Run After You’ and ‘21 Reasons’ which would later be recorded for their acclaimed ‘Black Letter Days’ album.

Newly remastered by Thaddeus Moore at Liquid Mastering, ‘Live At Melkweg’  is housed in a deluxe triple gatefold sleeve with spot UV detailing.

To pre-order ‘Snake Oil’ and ‘Live At Melkweg (Expanded Edition)’ go to: