For the guys in Swag, a Nashville-based five-piece that includes Cheap Trick's Tom Petersson, former Wilco drummer Ken Coomer, Todd Rundgren associate Doug Powell, longtime Maverick Robert Reynolds and one-time Maverick Jerry Dale McFadden, it must've been a real kick to mimic the pet sounds that had them falling in love with music in the first place. The idea was to create a "utopian pop band" to honor the group's favorite records from the '60s and '70s. From the sound of things, it's a good bet most of those records were 45s by the Beatles, Kinks and Hollies, Badfinger, Eric Carmen, Harry Nilsson, and Wings -- any and all varieties of the pop music now commonly known as Beatlesque. Irresistibly melodic and determined to turn every song into one big glorious hook, Catch-all
delivers a dozen love letters to John, Paul, producer George Martin and the world they invented together inside Abbey Road studios.
There's no need to mention any specific songs. If you love the acts above (and who with a beating heart doesn't?), then you already know precisely what this album sounds like, and you'll swoon or grin goofily, as appropriate, at each musical prompt. Hey, that's a Zombies beat! Oh man, that's the melody from "Piggies!" That is soooo E.L.O., dude! The problem is that these sonic allusions are so powerful that the lyrics are instantly rendered beside the point. The emotional payoff is like the warm-sigh nostalgia of a first crush, minus the messy give-and-take of an ongoing relationship. And what good is that? What's love worth if all it has to tell you is what you already want to hear?