Katastroyka‘s Ryan Riot doesn’t believe in acoustic guitars. “If I can’t distort the sound, I don’t like playing it,” says the leather-jacket-wearing Vancouver rock star. Never has this been more true than at this, my fifth Katastroyka show. They’ve taken off since adding real live drummer Steve Hanker, and improve exponentially each time I see them.
Opening with (of course) distortion, Jason Allum’s bass in this first song always reminds me of Death Cab For Cutie. Ryan’s voice has never been stronger, and guitarist Dave Cotton is still having a good time. I don’t think they’ve ever sounded this good before! Their second song features great drumming from Steve, and my fingers start itching to play Rock Band. One audience member is particularly drunk, and tries to put a furry winter hat on each band member. After Ryan rejects his advances, Dave tries to keep him entertained while still playing music.
Their third song, which I believe is Perestroika (set list is still pending), has a truly epic finale. I love the crescendo, so this song scored major points with me. Their fourth song is also epic, probably because of the drumming (go Steve!). I love Ryan’s guitar in the fifth song, and dancing ensues on the floor. This is my first time at Pub 340, but based on my experience thus far I’d definitely go back.
More great guitar and drumming from Katastroyka on their sixth song, and their final number is a slower, more deliberate song that any of their others. The more mellow vibe makes for a nice change of pace. It crescendos into a big sound and an epic finale, all while maintaining the deliberation of the introduction.
As some of you may recall, my first review of Katastroyka was nothing short of scathing. This makes Dave Cotton very proud of how far they’ve come since then. “We knew that’s how we sounded back then. It was time for a change. We’re just lucky that Steve fit so well, and so quickly!” Dave is the nicest guy you could ever meet, and he deserves to feel proud of such an accomplishment.
Katastroyka Set List
1. 5 8 6 (New Order cover)
2. La Luna
5. Ad Infinitum
7. Past Participant