Catholic Action Talks Quarantine, Missing the DIY Scene & Newest Album

Catholic Action is no stranger to politically fueled lyrics. And the garage rock thrashers from the U.K. are ready to guzzle the inspiration guaranteed to come to them during this worldwide pandemic.

The band’s newest album, Celebrated By Strangers, came out just last month (March 27) and coincides well for these confusing times—even though the album was written way before COVID-19 forced everyone indoors. Tracks like “People Don’t Protest Enough” can be an anthem to the rent and mortgage strikes happening around the U.S; “And It Shows” sings about what being alone every night can do to your psyche; and “There Will Always Be A Light” provides a little bit of hope for those of us feeling like we’ve been left in the dark.

Catholic Action, “People Don’t Protest Enough”

“I feel like they [the tracks] kind of touch on the vibe that a lot of people are feeling right now,” frontman Chris McCrory says. “It’s been a long time coming for me and the band, so it’s nice to just finally have it out there for the people that want to hear it.”

When BTRtoday called McCrory, he had recently returned from a long tour and was just starting his quarantine in the U.K. He was catching up on some much-needed relaxation, but was getting bored and could already feel the events unfolding around him start to inspire. “I think it will come in a couple of days,” he said.

Celebrated By Strangers is an epic garage rock album creating new levels of energy with fuzz guitar, distortion, and melodies that pound along with each heartbeat. The tracks swirl layers upon layers of imagery with each lyric sung—whether McCrory shouts it to your face or smoothly breathes it out to hug your eardrums. Some moments in the songs feel like a psych-rocker’s dream while others bleed nods to ‘90s grunge.

Catholic Action, “One Of Us”

McCrory says this is the most focused album yet. “[The new album] feels much closer to who we are as people,” he says. “I think it’s a much truer statement, personally and artistically.” Though he admits the previous albums feel naive to him now, he also misses those times at the beginning of Catholic Action when they were just blossoming in the Glasgow DIY garage scene.

“Often the case for bands [is] the first stuff they ever make is the best stuff. Because when they make it they’re not under any kind of pressure or there’s [no] expectation, so it is totally uninhibited,” McCrory says. “And you end up with something quite interesting, so, I mean, I’m proud of the very early [Catholic Action] stuff.”

McCrory says pre-quarantine he was concentrating hard on touring and producing other musician’s projects, but now he wants to use this time to create new material. In the meantime, hear the entire interview with Catholic Action’s McCrory and their newest album Celebrated By Strangers in this week’s episode of The Music Meetup.