Joe Giachero [Decapolis Music Staff]; Age: 23; Top 5 bands: Wilco, Smoking Popes, Ramones, Pedro the Lion, and All/Descendents.
Musical preferences: I prefer catchy and clever songwriting. I also prefer the mp3 format, through the iTunes player.
We all know the crossover-artists well. Bands start out by selling their product in the small community of Christian music, and with luck break into the buzzing city of mainstream rock. Most of us rally for those bands, and cheer them on, knowing the progression well; the spiritual lyrical content of the music typically becomes ambiguous or simply falls by the wayside and if the artist is lucky, album sales soar.
But, Josh Caterer and Duvall had no part in this kind of crossover.
Here's the background. In 1990, The Smoking Popes were formed in Chicago by the three Caterer brothers and Mike Fulumlee (You may be familiar with him as the former drummer of Alkaline Trio). Their unique sound blended pop, punk, and rock influences with Josh Caterers unconventional lead vocal style. They received reasonable mainstream success and toured nationally with Foo Fighters, Morrissey, and others. In 1999 the band called it quits. Josh had been openly proclaiming from stage that he had come to know Christ at the end of the shows on their final tour, and it was becoming evident that he needed a lifestyle change.
After setting rock and roll aside for a while, Josh formed Duvall in 2001. They independently released "Standing at the Door", a four song EP, toured with some bigger acts, such as Dashboard Confessional before setting out to write and record "Volume & Density" their full-length debut.
Musically, "Volume & Density" doesn't bring anything new to the table. It's got the same formula as all the Smoking Popes albums you know and love-Caterer's strikingly unique, yet familiar voice on top of impressive guitars and busy drums. There is a nice rendition of Spandau Ballet's twenty-year-old hit "True", as well as a rerecorded version of "Standing at the Door".
Josh Caterer is definitely wearing his heart on his sleeve with the lyrical content of this album. There are moments of praise, moments where Caterer is honestly calling out to God. "What It Is", predicts a meeting with God, in the time you least expect it. The album closes with a low-key and soothing praise chorus "Jesus Never Leaves Me". This album is perhaps the most heartfelt and honest collection of songs based on one man's relationship with God. Josh Caterer had his mainstream success, and now he is singing about what really matters.