“I wanted to create something that was completely unconstrained, with no preconception of what the end result might be—something uncompromising, that completely disregarded boundaries and was unafraid to visit strange places. I feel that I achieved that goal and created a pretty unique slice of metal.” ~ James Sherwin
While the early seeds of James Sherwin’s solo project Catercorner were sown in 2009 when he created a rough three song demo of experimentation, however the project sat on the back burner for over a decade until June 2020 when finally, the self titled debut EP was released. Recorded at The Box at GemJamHQ in London with multi instrumentalist Sherwin handling everything from the music to the knob twiddling, as he puts it, he was “Chasing the idea. Every object is an imperfect copy of a perfect idea“. So what does that idea sound like?
Opening cut “The Other Osmuim” sounds like the bastard child of Zebadiah Crowe and Pitchshifter with a distinctly split personality. Glitchy electronics and break beats over remix style sounds making way for violent chugging riffs, harsh programmed drums and screaming vocals that all comes together in a tsunami of noise. The length of the track means that there is space for an ambient melodic Deftones inspired segment before a bruising final verse and some explosive Tech-Metal or heavy end Math Rock. There is so much going on that it takes multiple listens to get it all with little previously unheard bits popping out of the mix as your brain fails to cope with the vast array of things going on. What’s brilliant about it, is that it all comes together and doesn’t end up like the plane crash that it might sound like on paper. Flipping the formula on its head, “Blossom” starts with the ambient sounds and builds into bruising Alternative Metal cut with a somber and sobering lead riff, all floating above a bed of electronica. The sonic breaks for science fiction soundscapes and icy piano turns that aggression into something beautifully strange with cinematic quality while also having an awkward soul of eerie strangeness. A return to darker territory with 90’s break beats underneath dense Red Method riffs and rich synth parts “Orchestral Grind” to create another schizophrenic dream of contrasting sonic textures with Sherwin’s voice cutting through them like a hot knife through butter. Then he lays down a mesmerizing solo and you’re left wondering how this man is not a full time musician [8.5/10]
The Other Osmium
“Self Titled” by Catercorner is out now and available over at bandcamp