CATALYSTS – Sparks

We’re glad to announce that South Wales, United Kingdom-based rock band CATALYSTS have released a new EP, entitled Sparks.

CATALYSTS are David Challenger (vocals), Craig O’Connor (guitar), Haitham Alharden (drums), Paul Owen (bass), and Elliot Blake (guitar). A succession of five singles released over the last twelve months has seen airplay for CATALYSTS build across BBC, Kerrang and other stations all over the world. The band have now collected these tracks on their debut EP, released today on Dharma Records – which also includes a brand new single, the title track “Sparks.” “This is an exciting period; we’ve loved being able to release the first six singles on our own terms which has given us the opportunity to reach as many people as possible. There is a buzz to get back into the studio with our new ideas and NEW MUSIC, that we hope will push the band’s sound further than ever before,” the band says.

Sparks was written by the band and David Challenger (vocals) wrote the lyrics after the music was complete. In fact, he was only seeing if he could work with us at the time of writing this song.

We’re from South Wales which has produced some of the best bands of the past 2 decades and we’re coming to take the title and bring it home. 

Quirky story, some mouthy little kid came to watch an old band Elliot & Dave was in (The Kennedy Soundtrack) at Sheffield’s Round House. He kept going on about how his band would be bigger than them and every other band… Turned out he was right, it was Ollie Sykes of Bring Me The Horizon,” says Elliot from CATALYSTS.

Sparks opens with the title track, which begins with charging distorted riffs and electric guitar leads, driven by the propulsive rhythms of the bass and drums. The guitars take on more subdued, dreamy tones as David Challenger’s evocative vocals join in for the first verse, before the distorted chord progression returns to lead up to the track’s compelling chorus. Midway through, ethereal synths add quite nicely to “Sparks”’s dreamlike atmosphere, while blistering electric guitar leads then highlight the following lyrical passages. The second track is “Ultimate Warrior III,” which carries the distorted energy of its opening chord progression into anthemic punk-inspired choruses featuring catchy vocal melodies, while complemented by searing electric guitar leads.

The third track on the EP is the energetic yet heavy “You Got No Soul” (our review here), which nicely combines palm-muted chugging and clean-toned electric guitar notes during the verses with powerful leads and sustained distortion during the choruses. “The Otherside” then begins with spacy atmospheric effects and arpeggiated synth notes, while a driving beat introduces the track’s compelling, shout-along lyrical passages, initially accented by staccato synth notes and later underscored by downtuned, grungy riffs. The next track, “Sylvia” (our review here), then blends captivating, delay-laden electric guitar patterns throughout its dynamic verses with bright synth textures and soaring guitar melodies throughout its anthemic choruses.

The final track on the EP, “Alive,” begins with a hard-hitting guitar- and bass riff that sets the track into a spellbinding groove. During the verses, the rhythms of electronica-sounding synths interlock with the driving percussion, adding to the track’s creatively dynamic feel, while sustained distorted chords during the choruses maintain a heavy atmosphere that nicely underscores the track’s epic vocal melodies – later leading into syncopated, downtuned riffing to impressively conclude the EP. Sparks is quite an enjoyable listen and an exciting debut EP for CATALYSTS, highlighting their brilliant songwriting and superb musicianship; I would highly recommend this EP to fans of alternative- and hard rock alike.

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