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Catholic Action | Celebrated By Strangers

You can almost always count on the Scottish popsters to keep things quirky.

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THE PRESS RELEASE: “The Scottish Album of the Year Award-nominated Glasgow quartet Catholic Action return with their sophomore album Celebrated by Strangers. New single One Of Us packs a fuzzed-out stomp alongside masterfully giddy melodies that sees lead singer and guitarist Chris McCrory recount being “the welfare son of a welfare son,” taking aim at the billionaire-owned media and their Bullingdon Club ilk who shirk responsibility for sowing the division we see in the UK. It sets the tone for a record that asks both searching questions of the self, while pointing the finger at inaction in the wider world. Through a procession of skittish, off-kilter riffs and squawking saxophones, Celebrated by Strangers doesn’t just call for action, it demands it. Fizzing with invention, accusation, self-belief and creativity, it never stutters under the weight of its own message.

MY TWO CENTS: Stranger, indeed. I’m not sure why, but you can almost always count on the Scots to keep things just a little left of center. Glasgow indie garage-popsters Catholic Action certainly don’t let the side down in that regard — the songs on their quirky sophomore set Celebrated by Strangers come sporting plenty of off-kilter charm, anxious energy and noisy idiosyncrasy reminiscent of early XTC. Thankfully, they also possess some of XTC’s more crucial qualities — like hooky choruses, catchy melodies and smart lyrics that make you realize there’s plenty of depth beneath the shiny surface. Which is something else you can usually count on the Scots for. And that’s definitely something worth celebrating.