James Catholic

James Catholic


Scott Walker/ Johny Cash/ Psychedellic Furs/Julee Cruise/The The/Pixies/T. Rex/Roberto Carlos/Franz Ferdinand/Stooges


JAMES CATHOLIC’S “smokes like butter”
It is with sincere purpose that extremes flourish in Mr. Catholic’s muse; and drama arrives in the form of distinct vocal characters under the restrictions of elementary form. After all, it’s dramatic range what attracts Mr. Catholic to the Matt Johnsons (The The), Perter Murphys, Stooges, and Pixies of the world.

“Smokes Like Butter” is not short on imperfection, specially at a time when charm has given way to digitization, and sentiment is dwarfed by digestibility. Thus, Mr. Catholic has set out to create a work that displays musical coherence, without necessarily knowing how to arrive at that coherence. One thing is understood, it will be the years served in poverty that have shaped Mr. Catholic’s rebellion, and he trusts that his words, inflections, and melodies influence at the most basic of levels.

The initial track “Lebanon”is a plywood floor thumping gospel induced romper that may have been influenced by Mr. Catholic’s religious upbringing in his native Costa Rica and adopted Texas (Catholic is no longer affiliated to any religion). More importantly, the song’s political/religious commentary is a result of Catholic’s two years spent as a teenager in the mid-east, and his belief that all paths to stability in the conflicted region lead to Jerusalem.

“minimal” is a continuation of the political/religious theme; but to a dark, and some might say, Gothic aesthetic. Showcased in “minimal” is Catholic’s willingness to circumvent brevity for message and drama. It is an introduction to “smokes like butter’s” more majestic and ethereal themes; continuing in Mr. Catholic’s tradition, displayed by his previous incarnations with bands New Guinea Pigs and “riotonred,” and his first James Catholic EP, “God is for Slowdancers.”

“Warmest of Hearts” is a crooning, airy and sensual avant pop pearl that maybe somewhat mistakingly associated with Scott Walker or Dead Can Dance, but its inspiration comes from eighties Hispanic balladeers Dyango, Roberto Carlos, and Jose Luis Rodriguez(El Puma). Catholic attempts to replicate the sincerity and showmanship displayed by these Hispanic giants, not of course, without applying a slight detour.
There is a major vocal contrast in the title track “smokes like butter,” in that it represents a risky departure from the previous tracks. It is exactly such a departure that Mr. Catholic wants to be recognized for, he explained, “musicians need to gradually expand their range, they must display that they have a foot in various genres and aren’t afraid to be deemed “unfocused,” in this sense, you might expand your fan base and do as politicians often due, they try to make everyone happy.” There is a risk though, of alienating potential fans, unless having a wide musical palate is one of the artist trade marks. Regardless, “smokes like butter,” is a Pixies/MC5 ripper that is as dark and rockin’ as it is light and infectious.
Perhaps the sweetest but most thought upon song ,“Ice Cold Daughter,” was the initial dive into the five song EP, and its electronica, harmonies, and melodies surface as the final and distinct note of “smokes like butter.”



Written By: James Catholic

I guess you're sorry baby, tonite you know it to be true, he died for me, he died for you, he gave me water, he gave me water, to be cruel to us.


God is for Slowdancers-2001

Brooklyn The Cock-2004

Smokes Like Butter-2007

Set List

We all Like It Raw
Smokes Like Butter
Warmest of Hearts
Ice Cold Daughter
Killer With a Knife
Fuck La Copa
Criminal and Maimed