Little Hurricane is a two-piece rock n roll band with a penchant for vintage instruments. Celeste “C.C.” Spina on drums and Tone Catalano on guitar produce dirty, windswept rock with a retro edge. You may feel as though you’ve heard this story before, but Little Hurricane is a band that is notable for what it is not. Remarkably, is not derivative, boring, jaded, cynical, pretentious or stuck in a time-warp. Catalano is quoted as saying “I love the old blues, but I think there are things we can bring into it that hopefully progresses the genre into the future.” That’s exactly what Little Hurricane has achieved with debut album Homewrecker.
While it may be laid on a bed of rock and blues and liberally sprinkled with seasoning a la Kings of Leon, Jeff Buckley, The White Stripes, Cold War Kids and The Black Keys, the meat in the middle of this sonic sandwich isn’t your usual processed ham. The thirteen songs offer a variety of styles, with Spina’s laidback drawl and nuanced drumming contrasting with Catalano’s beautiful but careful vocals, and his intricately layered guitar. The pair duet on the girl/boy question-and-answer Crocodile Tears, which is mercifully free from twee. Trouble Ahead pounds the pavement wearing black jeans and a Motorhead patch, while the next track Haunted Heart has a jaunty step and a Bob Marley badge.
Shortbread is an unusual and eerie song where Catalano reveals a soulful side to his voice as he scolds “you wanna live in a big house but we only need one room”. Spina meanwhile just wants him to “start a fire in my heart”. Lies is a foot stomping heavy blues number, Sweetpea is a bittersweet love song from an old man to his dead wife, and Homewrecker counters all that melancholy with squealing guitar. “I’m so tired of you, you’re like a bad tattoo”, howls Catalano over slinky tambourine and tearaway drums. The album concludes with Give ‘em Hell, a striking duet that features unusual vocal harmonies and finishes with a deranged orchestral crescendo.
Like an extremely attractive intellectual with no sense of humour, Little Hurricane lacks a little sex appeal. Spina and Catalano have gone for unease rather than erotica, and it makes for intelligent and interesting listening.
Kathryn van Beek www.joyriderpromotions.com
Click here to listen to Shortbread from Homewrecker: