Katerina Panopoulou started playing music with friends at home in Greece. Her journey since then has seen her play both in bands and as a solo artist, interspersed with a couple of periods spent in London to complete her studies.
Back in Greece, the band evolved, members came and went, the name changed (on a couple of occasions) and although now KATRIN THE THRILL is ostensibly Katerina’s ‘alter ego’ this EP was recorded with the aid of long-time associate Gina and several others.
The concept of ‘Earth Is Calling Us’ was sparked (no pun intended, though that’s probably hard to believe) by the devastating forest fires that ravaged Greece a few years ago. Indeed part of the proceeds from the sale of the EP goes towards the reforestation projects.
So what’s it like? Well, there’s no arguing with the Press Sheet that fans of PJ Harvey, and Patti Smith will enjoy this. That said, the first track ‘You Make Me Wanna Die,’ actually opens with an intro that reminds me of Australia’s Howling Bells – up until the vocals kick in when to me there is a resemblance in style to that of Skin from Skunk Anansie.
I love Howling Bells. I don’t like Skunk Anansie. Hmmm! Not too sure of this one. It’s all a bit downbeat and ‘grungey’ for me. It’s OK.
‘Unreal’ is pretty much in the same vein. The vocals are a little higher and the track, at almost four and a half minutes has some nice, atmospheric instrumental breaks. Again though it sort of ‘plods’ its way through the duration and does actually get a bit depressing!
‘God’ on the other hand is far more exciting- in a creepy, spine-chilling sort of way. The little piano arpeggios and droned keyboard effects combine with Katerina’s somewhat manic sounding vocals to create the impression of a porcelain-faced doll staring at you from the end of your bed in your darkened room, then ever so slowly rolling its eyes up into its head.
(Oh – it’s just me, then?)
‘Earth Is Calling Us’ is the longest of the five tracks (there is also a shorter ‘Radio Edit’ of this track) at just over five and a half minutes. Yet again, the vocal style is almost one of despondency and simmering anger. But it works better here, I think. The backing has more of a drone to it, and the glockenspiel is used to great effect to build the atmosphere.
‘Sorry’ is a bit weird – it basically amounts to two and a half minutes of the words ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry,’ being repeated over and over, though the pace and beat is rocked up a bit on this one.
Overall, it’s neither the best nor the worst EP I’ve heard this year. But it will definitely hold appeal for those who enjoy PJ Harvey and Patti Smith. And bleedin’ Skunk Anansie!
(Released through the Incense label – Greece- and available now)