Caterpillars
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Caterpillars

Dallas, Texas, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2008 | SELF

Dallas, Texas, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2008
Band Rock Alternative

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"Caterpillars - Caterpillars EP"

Caterpillars - Caterpillars EP
Record Label: Unsigned
Release Date: Fall 2008

Amazement is a rarity around here. I could discuss some hyperbolic story about the last time I felt it - 1994 and glue that smelled like Froot Loops was involved - but I won’t. I’m not sure what it is about my wiring that disallows me this simple joy. Actually, to be honest, I blame porn. For your sake I won’t get into the why’s of it. Covering my bases with such stupid words is just a defense mechanism in case this happy sentiment is rushed and completely forced. Is 6 days really enough time to call Caterpillars amazing? Aren’t these pure emotions supposed to be instantaneous; i.e. “you just know”? I reckon Edison knew he had done something awesome immediately, but for some reason I feel like Einstein possessed a lot of self-doubt. Einstein and me, we’re not so different. Oh right, music.

Caterpillars are fantastic, and that’s the most effective way to put it. (No it’s not. - Editor) For such a young band, their polished melodies and light atmospheres sound miraculous. I almost suspect wrongdoing, but I won’t investigate for fear of bursting my own bubble. The five songs on this self-titled EP run the gamut from gorgeous to pulsing to dramatic to dazzling. Caterpillars use synths extremely effectively, so each electronic note adds to the experience rather than detracts from it. “Bury Your Words”, for example, burgeons to impressive depths with slight beeps and tricky drums. It’s full-bodied and intense while still being easy on the ears for those nights you need to relax. In this case relaxation does not imply boredom.

Vocally, the band sits somewhere in between Colonies and The Postal Service, so expect wonders. The singing could have easily been polished to the point of annoyance, but instead there is just a smidge of grime and humanness left in. This insistence on keeping the focus on living and feeling rather than technology and wiring can be directly attributed to producer Ed Rose, who’s about as famous as a producer can be, which is to say not very! (Just kidding, Mr. Rose.)

“I’ve Been Lost” might have landed on my top songs of 2008 list had I not heard it last week. An electronic drumbeat punctuates vocals dripping in echoes and effects. Lyrics like “I have seen this part of the world far too many times / And I’ve been lost for far too long” reek of a desire for bigger and better. This is a band feening for respect, grasping for fame and hoping to make a dream come true. The best part is that Caterpillars can actually reach its goals.

No wait, maybe “A Place To Call My Own” would make the list. Its eruption into rugged guitar riffing and bigger-than-Yao drums is one of those moments you hope never ends. And it’s all in direct opposition to the rather breezy vocals. Everything you could want out of a song is here, and by that I mean the strategy and subsequent construction behind these songs is so thoughtfully crafted that you’ll wonder why anyone would write songs that don’t sound like this. Amazing. - Absolute Punk


"New Music Roundup"

Caterpillars- “The Wicked and Wonderful”

Most of the songs on “The Wicked and Wonderful” build on straight forward emotional alt-rock that orbits around spacey moods and ambiance. Album opener “The Day The Earth Stood Still” is the type of song that pulls you in and begins to build, while failing to disappoint through big choruses. “Shiver” and “Kenopsia” follow the rest of established album formula well. - Houston Chronicle


"Premiere: Caterpillars"

Texas rock four-piece Caterpillars are gearing up to release a brand new full-length, titled The Wicked and Wonderful, on October 7. To give you an idea of what to expect on the effort, the band has teamed with Substream today to stream “Frustrated,” a moving indie rock gem with ethereal elements that should appeal to fans of bands like Moving Mountains and From Indian Lakes. You can listen in below, where you’ll also find a lengthy statement from Caterpillars vocalist/guitarist Chris Robinson about the ideas and inspirations that motivated the creation of the song—one that almost didn’t make the cut for the final album.

We’ve had the privilege of hearing The Wicked and Wonderful in its entirety and can tell you beyond the shadow of a doubt that you’re going to want to spend some time with it upon release. If you let it slip by you this year, you’ll regret having not included it on your year-end list of best releases in 2016. Pre-order the album on Amazon and find two more of its singles on Bandcamp. - Substream Magazine


"Caterpillars Get The Band Back Together"

Chris Robinson finally had the lineup of his band Caterpillars he always wanted. After years of lineup changes, the Dallas vocalist and guitarist had recorded an album called The Other Side with drummer Stephen O'Sicky, guitarist Drew Black and bassist Ben Love. They had some great opportunities in front of them, including some shows and press coverage. But then it all fell apart, just as everything seemed to be working out.

Against all odds, the lineup got back together in the last year, and they are prepping to release their second outing, The Wicked and Wonderful, in October. It's 11 songs of tuneful math pop, with nods to Minus the Bear and the Get Up Kids. It's a step up for this band, and it would not be as strong if it weren't for the performers on the record. Getting to this point took time, but it was certainly worth the wait.

O'Sicky was the first to drop out before the release of The Other Side. With the demands of his day job limiting his availability to play out as much with the band, he stepped aside. "This band was getting too serious at the time, and I was worried I would mess things up," O'Sicky says. "So that's why I had to pick work over this."

There was no conflict of interest or musical direction with O'Sicky's decision to leave. "I didn't want to quit the band," O'Sicky says. "I always wanted to play with Chris." He was replaced by Carson Brooks and later Guyton Sanders.

Robinson kept writing songs and wanted to record the best material for a new album, and he had the funds to record with them with a producer. But then Love's job as a software developer required him to live in Sydney, Australia, for six months. Without Love or O'Sicky, it didn't feel like the right thing to do.

"I didn't know what the hell I was going to do," Robinson says. "I was just writing acoustic songs, and I was focusing on production in my room." He considered releasing the material as a solo project, but he held onto the possibility that this would be another Caterpillars record.

Robinson was still in touch with Black and O'Sicky. O'Sicky joined a bluesy rock band called the Confounded, but Black didn't hop into a new band when Caterpillars went on hold. "I was just Mr. Domestic," Black says. "I have a wonderful fiancee who makes a lot more money than I do. I was writing songs at home and cleaning house and holding down a 9 to 5 as well."


Love was always an email away. "The entire time I was down there, Chris and I were talking a lot," Love says. "He was sending me stuff, and I would listen to it. I was really ready to be back."

Left to their own devices, Black and Robinson made a musical detour that didn't exactly work out. "Chris and I did a brief stint in a country band just to mix things up," Black says. With Carson Brooks on drums, the country gig did not take hold. "Drew lasted one show and was like, 'Fuck this!,'" Robinson says.

At last, Love moved back and, come the summer of 2015, the band had a new lease on life. They started working on the songs and made plans to record in Cleveland.

Over the course of two jaunts up north early in 2016, the band rented a house in the suburbs and went into town every day to record. They worked with Jim Wirt, who had produced records for Incubus, Something Corporate and Jack's Mannequin, and the band was happy with how it went. "Amazing," O'Sicky says. "Best experience of my life."

"Jim was just so laid back," Robinson says. "He didn't ask us to change song structures at all. He liked the songs how they were." But the band didn't record glorified demos. "He was really big on changing the way we were playing the songs," Black says of Wirt's approach. Songs like "Kenopsia" and "Vanish" rank as some of the best songs the band has recorded. And being in a different state certainly helped the band focus on making the best possible record. "It was a great break from working life," Love says.

Still, the members of Caterpillars hope it won't take so long to get record No. 3 done. "We're going to take another three years," Robinson dryly quips. "We'll see you in three years." - Dallas Observer


"The Best New Releases"

The gang is back together for The Wicked and Wonderful. After some lineup changes, the original Caterpillars outfit got back together for this new album and have plans for another. This 11-track release touches all the bases of its indie-alternative genre. There are charming major chords, heavy riffs, gang vocals, breakdowns and plenty of math-rockish progressions to keep your ears entertained through each track. - Dallas Observer


Discography

The Wicked and Wonderful. October 2016
The Other Side. October 2013
Self-Titled EP. October 2008.

Photos

Bio

Taking a love of early indie music and a passion for technology, the Dallas band Caterpillars blend the digital and analog worlds to create refreshing melodies with energetic rhythm. Whether it’s the arpeggiated guitars, driving bass and drums, or the passionate lead vocals of singer songwriter Christopher Robinson, Caterpillars believes in enhancing the soundscape with a digital feel. Born from this desire, Robinson, along with Stephen O’Sicky and Ben Love went to work writing and recording their first full length album, The Other Side. Once again working with legendary producer/engineer Ed Rose (The Appleseed Cast, The Get Up Kids, Coalesce) Caterpillars used their multi instrumental tendencies to create a fantastic follow up to the well received self titled EP, which was called one of the most exciting albums of 2013 by AboslutePunk.net.Caterpillars desire to create was only fueled more by the welcoming response to their first full length release, which sent the band back into writing for their sophomore album. Through the fall of 2015 and Spring of 2016 Caterpillars worked with Jim Wirt (Incubus, Something Corporate, Fiona Apple) out of Cleveland, Ohio to create a more ambitious and adventurous record. The Wicked and Wonderful, to be released October 7th, is the band’s venture into more melodic, yet often heavier, music writing than ever before.

Band Members