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Ferment

4.6 out of 5 stars 63 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Amazon.com

One of the finest albums to arise out of the shoegazing trend coating the early 1990s, Ferment is rich, lush, and wrenching. For what it's worth, Catherine Wheel get a mention in the liner notes of the Smashing Pumpkins' Siamese Dream. Perhaps it's indicative of the fact that this album rocks a little harder than the genre-defining releases from the likes of the Stone Roses, the Charlatans, and the Inspiral Carpets. Ferment includes guitar solos, albeit tasteful guitar solos, that most of Catherine Wheel's contemporaries would have balked at. Later releases abandon the ethereal noise wash, leaning a little more toward the sound of their admirers the Pumpkins. A beautiful, spiraling release, Ferment is pliable but impenetrable. --Beth Bessmer
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 9, 1992)
  • Original Release Date: June 9, 1992
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Fontana
  • ASIN: B000001DVN
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #101,737 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's Catherine Wheel Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I fell in love with these guys in high school. While the rest of my suburban classmates were listening to either The Fugees or Hootie and the Blowfish (oh how fun it was being an outcast in that school) - I lucked out and thankfully stumbled upon Catherine Wheel.

I remember taking guitar lessons when I was 15, and when I got decent enough my instructor said if I wanted to learn how to play a song, he'd teach me. So, I brought my copy of Ferment in and told him he had to teach me how to play Black Metallic. To my novice glee, it was quite easy to play. This is what I found so wonderful about it. A song with just a few chords that ended up being THAT timeless and brilliant, on a band's first album, made me love the song even more than I already did. Recently I saw Rob play on his solo tour... After playing an acoustic Black Metallic, he laughed and said something along the lines of "ah, Thank God for Black Metallic... things would've been a lot different if that one had never been made!" ;)

I Want To Touch You, Indigo Is Blue and She's My Friend are my other favorites... And Ferment isn't even one of my favorite CW albums.

It is such a crime that they never got the recognition they deserved... Rob may be thankful for Black Mettalic - I'm just thankful for discovering Catherine Wheel when I did. How different things would've been had I become a Hootie and the Blowfish fan ;)
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Catherine Wheel's debut is an incredible, sadly overlooked statement of noise and beauty. Time has not been fair to this band, who at one time seemed destined for very big things. Where other staples of the shoegaze scene turned off harder-rock listeners by being too inwardly focused, Catherine Wheel always reached for something a little more intense. The vocals were still breathy and ethereal and the guitars gauzy but cathartically loud, but there was something a little more "rock" about them (and this would come to the fore in later albums.) Somehow, however, that combination of sounds was a compromise rather than a blessing, and they've faded from memory of many today.

It's unfortunate that this is the "deluxe edition" we're getting to try and revive those memories. It seems nice on paper - a remastered album with a healthy "six" bonus tracks*, four of which make up the long-lost 30 Century Man EP - but what we get is something that isn't noticeably remastered in any way, and may even seem a bit weaker in sound than the original (it is very, very hard to tell, however - most may not hear it at all,) and what's worse, the bonus tracks may be sourced from vinyl! At least one is, that's for sure, "That's When I Reach For My Revolver," and this track alone is a serious issue because not only can popping and clicking of vinyl be heard in the intro, the track has digital errors at approximately 2'53". It's inexcusable - there was obviously no quality control whatsoever. I've fired off an email to Cherry Red Records asking about corrections to this pressing, but who knows if I'll get an answer. Fix this, and maybe source it from a CD at least (surely a die-hard fan would make a copy for the label, right?) if not the original master(!) and this would be a pretty great re-release.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Imagine a band with all the melodicism of The Stone Roses debut album mixed with guitar flourishes reminiscent of Sonic Youth's "Daydream Nation." That's what this album sounds like to me. Catherine Wheel often bombard the listener with walls of guitar bombast that threaten to drown out the rhythm section but somehow, through excellent production techniques no doubt, the drums hold their own and the bass is actually as memorable in moments as the lead guitar work. Thanks to the bass playing, in fact, the songs never lose direction with all the lead guitar theatrics creatively washing over the listener in waves of crashing guitar-pedal mayhem. Standout tracks are everywhere, so it is really a pointless exercise on my part to point them out. For what it's worth, "I Want To Touch You" and "Bill and Ben" are magnificent concoctions that explode through my brain with every spin of this CD. But there is not a weak track on the album, and the depth of the songwriting is both emotionally and instrumentally rewarding. Pick up this CD, turn the volume way up, and bathe yourself in the rich guitar-wash of Catherine Wheel's "Ferment." Highly recommended.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Note the low rating I gave, has nothing to do with the actual music, which is easily 5 stars.
But like others have stated, I too have the digital glitch in "That's When I Reach For My Revolver" on my copy.
The only reason I got this is because of the bonus tracks, which makes this reissue pointless, because
quality control dropped the ball. The sound is also lame, as like most mastering these days, it's mastered
too loud and sounds too harsh compared to the original issued CD which I thankfully still have.
When will record companies realize that music fans have volume control knobs, which can be turned up?

Catherine Wheel, one of the greatest bands of the 90's deserves so much better.
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Format: Audio CD
As soon as I saw the music video for "Black Metallic" on MTV's 120 Minutes back in my high school days, I knew I had to have this album. Ferment is unbelievable and Catherine Wheel instantly became one of my favorite bands of the 1990s. Ferment was their debut album and has a more raw, stuffy sound than their next recordings. It has very loud guitars and drums but the songs are also very melodic and catchy. "Texture" really rocks and is an excellent opening track, hooking the listener right away. "I Want To Touch You" is very catchy and is perhaps, next to "Balloon," the most accessible track on Ferment. It was also released as a single. "Black Metallic" is heavy but is also one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard and the album version clocks in at over 7 minutes. It is amazing, especially when the guitars kick in again after the quiet interlude towards the end. Other favorites of mine include the rocking "Shallow," "Tumbledown" which has a beautiful melodic guitar that turns into a blazing riff, "Bill and Ben," the catchy "Salt" with the kickin' drums, and the fun Ba-B-Ba-Ba-"Balloon." The title track is interesting. It is very quiet and soothing and just explodes with headbangin' guitar. Catherine Wheel's later albums may be better produced with crisper sound, but Ferment is, perhaps, their most solid release. No weak tracks here at all. One final note: the lead singer is Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson's cousin! How cool is that?!
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