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The Cathode Ray / Press

“Hidden Gems : The Cathode Ray Today I want to mention a cool record by The Cathode Ray from Edinburgh. Members past and present have included Neil Baldwin, David Mack, Steve Fraser, Jeremy Thoms and Paul Haig. If you like your music guitar driven and in the tradition of Postcard Records this could be for you. Whilst you’re here check out these other songs by them ‘Patience Is A Virtue‘, ‘Slipping Away‘ and ‘Lost And Found‘.”

“CATHODE RAY: SHINING A LIGHT ON THE CATHODE RAY, AS THEY LAY BELIEF ON ME INTERVIEW BY CHUMKI BANERJEE. With their enigmatic mix of analogue and digital, sixties charisma, seventies style and modern day sophistication, The Cathode Ray endeared me from first note, so I was filled with excitation when they agreed to an interview. Now that I find they share many of my passions, including Bowie, Banshee, Blondie, Roxy, pasta, kedgeree, red wine and whisky, I am even more enamoured, so please read on and enjoy the exchange as much as I did.”

“It was Vic Godard of Subway Sect who shone his light on The Cathode Ray, for me , in August, when I reviewed their single 'Dispersal'. Purveyor and supporter of inspiring music, Vic’s commitment and recommendations are to be commended and The Rays are no exceptions. In affinity with their name, they radiate a lush, rounded analogue sound, glimmered with ethereal glow of captivating effects, projecting a slightly distorted, Sixties tinged world, which is not entirely black or white. Taken from the same album as ‘Dispersal’, ‘Train’ and ‘Around’ are just as engaging: ‘Train’: careers along on flurry of drums, and pumping engine of throbbing bass, sparkling guitar showering sparks, vocal swinging, on rock and ro”

“PDB: Can you pitch THE CATHODE RAY in 25 words or less? A modern collection of sounds with post-punk, disco, pop, surf, garage, soundtrack, glam-rock, psychedelic, new wave and northern soul flavours. PDB: What music, books, films or television shows have floated your boat recently? Music: Toy; Dexys; Spiritualized; High Llamas – all four have been great both live and on record. I’m always searching out old stuff too – recent discoveries include Seals & Crofts and the composer Delius – lovely stuff both. Books: The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim – Jonathan Coe; The Complete David Bowie – Nicolas Pegg; Apathy for The Devil – Nick Kent. Film: Scorcese’s Living In The Material World; Hitchcock’s Dial M For Murder (just watched it tonight for the first time in ages – brilliant); Black Swan. TV: Friday Night Dinner; Curb Your Enthusiasm; Coronation Street (the hardy perennial…)”

“What shines through tonight,and befits a group who have spent so long in their various incarnations working together, is what a tight musical unit the Cathode Ray are. Lead guitarist Steve Fraser, who replaced Haig after he quit after two singles in 2009, is also an excellent addition to the line-up. His ringing chords have a depth and weight that helps to push the group far beyond the perimeters of post-punk. and which mixes it together with elements of 60’s garage rock, glam rock and psychedelia. This is a relentless, breathless set, partially exaggerated by the Cathode Ray being up against a strict curfew and time limit of forty minutes, and partially, as those in the audience who have seen them before are aware, even if they hadn’t had to drop a couple of numbers as they have done tonight, they would be like this anyway. Jeremy Thoms’ delivers his lyrics with a clipped forcefulness and brusque fury, but strip them away and they reveal a sense of estrangement and paranoiac”

“While the particles in a cathode ray travel at lightning speed, Edinburgh’s The Cathode Ray are somewhat slower paced. A single in 2006, a second in 2009, and now finally an album three years later again – but as the animated opening track handily reminds those tut-tutting and tapping their wrists, Patience is a Virtue. Part of the leisurely arrival is no doubt a consequence of founder member Paul Haig (formerly of Josef K) leaving to focus on solo material, his exit amicable but presumably impactful. His fingerprints remain, credited as co-author on eight of the eleven tracks, including album highlights like Monkees-pop nugget Train and the arch art-punk energy of Get A Way. In comparison, songwriting partner Jeremy Thoms’ sole-penned offerings are more variable, ranging from ace (Dispersal) to the record’s worst (the Santana-like Creature of Habit), casting doubt on the band’s more definitively Haig-less future. But for now, they're scintillating ”

"Gently bobbing, new wave/post punk, sparky, sprightly, exceedingly catchy, chirpy little number, tantalisingly tempting fusion of 'Rip It Up' Orange juice with Lou Reed, Elvis Costello and Devo; coolly captivating, though slightly craven vocal, grungy, throbbing bass, dustily laconic drums, jaunty, jingly, jangly guitar and engaging, rhythmically poetic lyricism "... everything becomes fragmented... party line circumvented... all you know has been diverted... status quo perverted...." , saunters sunnily along, captivating my heart, refreshingly unpretentious yet clearly committed, circumventing usual Mudkiss channels to circuitously land on my review desk via the estimable Vic Godard, hats off to his good taste"

“Several years after their debut single was released the Cathode Ray finally released their debut self titled LP a few weeks back.As previously noted on MPT, it’s an excellent record and I was delighted when singer/guitarist Jeremy Thoms agreed to do an interview for the blog. MPT – Who are the Cathode Ray? JT – Jeremy Thoms: Lead vocals;guitars;keyboards Steve Fraser: Lead guitar;backing vocals Neil Baldwin:Bass David Mack:Drums & percussion MPT – What bands have you all been in before? JT – Jeremy: The Presidents Men; Revillos; New Leaf; Skyline; The Fabulous Artisans Steve: pre-Waterboys Mike Scott; The Scars Neil: TV21; The Bluebells; New Leaf David: The Twinsets; Skyline MPT – Sell the band to someone who’s not heard you before – in 20 words or less. Post-punk with disco, surf, garage, soundtrack, glam-rock, psychedelic and northern soul flavours. ”

“‘The Cathode Ray’ is, simply put, a cracking record. By and large it’s an up tempo LP as evidenced by second and third singles ‘Slipping Away’ and ‘Train’. Which isn’t to say though that this isn’t a diverse set of songs. Much of the inspiration is drawn from the late 70s mainly from the post-punk scenes on both sides of the Atlantic with the occasional nod to white boy funk (such as on the HI-NRG indie dance of ‘All My Highs’). What really makes the record though is that the tunes are strong throughout. So much so that it’s a difficult record to pick out highlights from. In the interests of being slightly more specific though, the aforementioned ‘Train’ sounds like early Subway Sect transposed to the Big Apple of the late 70s whilst ‘Lost and Found’ boasts a slightly sinister OJ groove.”

“Spry debut from Scottish post punk veterans. This album had a slow birth. Began years ago as a songwriting collaboration between Josef K's Paul Haig and Jeremy Thoms (ex-The Presidents Men), it was completed after Haig opted to pursue a solo career with less obvious debts to the art-rock influences which informed his early records. The band also includes TV21's Neil Baldwin and Another Pretty Face's Steve Fraser, so the post-punk angles are delivered with confidence: there's a cascading Magazine-style guitar on "Patience Is A Virtue", and Thoms' "Dispersal" sounds like a Subway Sect outtake. Best is "Train", which mixes Haig's dark manners with rushing guitar and an agreeably trashy chorus. 6/10”

“There is an intriguing backstory to the first album for The Cathode Ray since it was originally a collaboration forged between singer/songwriter Jeremy Thoms and ex-Josek K frontman Paul Haig in 2006. Sometime later, Haig’s solo career started to pay off and Thoms was left to continue the project alone. This he has now done with the help of new band members, so the debut album by The Cathode Ray arrives six years after their first single. Thoms is certainly no novice at this kind of thing, even if he isn’t as big a name as Haig. He has already helmed (with distinction) melodic pop/rock act Skyline and the soulful epic sounds of The Fabulous Artisans. Thoms once again proves his talent and his versatility with The Cathode Ray and what is more, the band pack a punch and an energy that groups half their age would be grateful for. It may have taken half a decade to complete but this is another successful mission accomplished for Thoms. ”

“The Cathode Ray Stereogram, available online only Rating: **** Having earned their musical stripes over the past three decades in and around Edinburgh and Scotland, Jeremy Thom’s bands do not disappoint, and The Cathode Ray now also feature former Bluebells and TV21 bassist Neil Baldwin. Thom’s distant vocal recalls Howard Devoto, while songs such as Train swing with the poppy bounce of the Revillos. He is a sufficiently clever lyricist to work a word such as “ephemeral” into a song (Dispersal) without sounding contrived, and can make a song such as Around bright and breezy, with the help of guest writing and vocal duties from Paul Haig, on eight of the 11 songs included here. CS Download this: Around, Lost And Found ”

“Say “The Cathode Ray”. Makes you think of television, right? Listen to The Cathode Ray. Kinda makes you think of Television, right? Right. And a whole lot more angsty late 70s guitar pop, besides. Well, check the credentials…. Formed by ex-Josef K frontman Paul Haig and another highly-capable guitarist/vocalist, Jeremy Thoms, The Cathode Ray are now fronted by Thoms alone, Haig having left to continue his solo career. Haig’s influence is still felt. As well as guesting on vocals and guitar, he co-writes the majority of the material here, and tracks such as ‘Get A Way’ and ‘Slipping Away’ could nestle snugly into a top drawer Haig release. In their own right, however, the Cathode Ray have delivered an assured debut, which displays the riches on offer when inventive imagination is harnessed to a tight framework... To read the full article please go to the link below.”

“Despite trends coming and going, Scotland has always maintained a strong tradition of songwriting in its purest form. Although singer-guitarist Jeremy Thomas and former Josef K front man Paul Haig originally wanted to fuse late ’70s New York and Manchester influences, their own character soon emerged, taking in a much broader spectrum after the latter left to concentrate on his solo career. After Haig was replaced by former Scars/Mike Scott guitarist Steve Fraser (who also joins ex-Bluebells/TV21 bassist Neil Baldwin and drummer David Mack), Thomas wrote more songs and the group recorded its debut album. The set is a beguiling mixture of Postcard-style pop (‘Patience Is A Virtue’), Joy Division-Magazine drama-cruise (‘Get A Way’), subtle post-punk dissonance-meets-Magazine (‘Get A Way’), Bowie balladeering (‘The Race’) and Velvets-style rhythm guitar underpinning gems like first single, ‘Around’. Absolute quality – this deserves some attention. Kris Needs ”

“Six years in the making, The Cathode Ray's eponymously-titled debut album has been well worth the wait. Originally formed as a writing project between singer-songwriter Jeremy Thoms and former Josef-K front-man Paul Haig, The Cathode Ray have received a welcome reception since the release of their debut double A-side single, 'What's it All About/Mind' (Pronoia), back in late 2006. Haig has since quit the band, citing a desire to work on his own rejuvenated solo career as the reason for his departure, leaving Jeremy Thoms to step forward to take over as lead vocalist. The album itself is a resounding success. Opener 'Patience is a Virtue', is pure indie-pop; Thoms angsty vocals wrap around guitars which sound like they could have been ripped from Orange Juice at their prime. Further nods to Edwyn Collins and co can be found on the Thoms-penned 'Dispersal'. To read the full article please click on the link below . ”

“Exuberant recent single, ‘Train’, is a combination of whirlwind, jangling guitars and swooning Beach Boys vocal harmonies. Next single, ‘Around’ for all its sturdy new wave guitars is essentially a Northern Soul paean to a lost love, and ‘Lost and Found’ mixes heavy, industrial guitars with a swaggering 70’s disco beat. As for the stark existentialism of the lyrics, Thoms’ own compositions, the droll Edwyn Collins pop of ‘Dispersal’ and the swaggering white soul of ‘Creature of Habit’ (“But those silent words had hidden meaning/They never said that you were leaving”),for all their summery sounds reveal that Thoms can write from just as dark an emotional place as Haig. ‘The Cathode Ray’ is an exhilarating, magnificent experience, one that takes 70’s post-punk and new wave and then embroiders them with an imaginative set of other sources and influences. It has had a long, hard gestation, but has been very much worth its wait.”

“You have to wait until the fifth track “Lost and Found” calmly kicks in before anything actually reaches out to grab you. When it does it’s a pleasant sensation, the sort of feeling that Edwyn Collins is able to project through his songs. In fact "Lost And Found", and "Creature Of Habit" both lean heavily towards the ex-Orange Juice man. It is a wake up call for anyone listening, and from thereon this rather dull undertaking is transformed. It’s as if the band shook off a grey cloak and adopted a shiny new suit instead. They simply go from strength to strength, washing away the memory of those earlier tracks in their wake, as these tender anthems pull you gently apart. To read the full article, click on the link below... ”

“When post-punk guitar act the Cathode Ray started out in 2006, it was to an enormous wave of publicity and expectation. A double A-sided single, 'What's It All About?/Mind', was released that year to much acclaim and extensive airplay. The Cathode Ray had begun as a songwriting project between Edinburgh-based musicians Paul Haig and Jeremy Thoms, but, with bassist Neil Baldwin and drummer David Mack also becoming involved, was soon heralded as cult star and solo artist Haig’s first group in twenty five years and since his original band, the short-lived but influential Josef K, had broken up in 1981. The notoriously reclusive Haig, however, felt uncomfortable about being in another group and, although he and the Cathode Ray had recorded an album’s worth of songs together, decided to quit the project... To read the full article please go to the web link below.”