Katmandu – Katmandu

If you Google Katmandu band you get a list of results that aren’t anything to do with this band. Many years ago in the days of music cassettes and long playing records I use to browse the music sections in the Our Price shop close to Harlow bus station. I was earning money in a job on my “year off” before university. I don’t really count that year as a “year off” but technically it was. I’m not sure if I’ve explained that within these communications.

I’d always be looking for new bands and music to listen to. I’d always browse the section called Rock/Metal but even then you can’t really be sure what type of music you are going to get. So I would often base my purchases on the cover or what I had heard about that band. Another album bought in these circumstances would be Blue Murder by Blue Murder.

With my pennies in hand I went and bought following music cassette to then listen on my “walkman”.

Katmandu – Katmandu [1991]

What do I think about this album? I love it. It’s a rare case of an album I bought without previous knowledge but I found myself really enjoying to vocals and guitar work. Is this “metal”? Nope. Not by a long way. I reckon it’s an album that closes off the excesses of 80s hair rock.

I do like bands with a decent plodding bass sound and this band manage that very well. There’s a certain slimy/creepy quality to the sound. The guitars are heavy and well produced. The songs are perfectly structured.

I remember liking God Part II and then I found out it was a cover version of a U2 song and I felt bad as I’d always slammed U2. I still don’t like U2 but am willing to appreciate their contribution to music, just.

The Way You Make Me Feel – the album opener and it’s a lovely heavy track with excellent mix of steady riffs and start-stop types of stuff. You’ll know what I mean if you listen to it.

Love Hurts – Oh yeah, it does. Also, in the chorus it has a lovely wacka-wacka guitar sound which is perfect.

Sometime Again – could make me cry on a bad day.

When The Rain Comes – A slower paced but still heavy track with vocals matching the guitars and a great middle section with rolling drums and steady-beat-bass.

Heart & Soul – A summer song for playing American Football on the beach, drinking beer and watching the sun set.

Ready For The Common Man – opens with a WTF moment with vocals suggesting the “sometimes I feel like a motherless child” and I have no idea what this is about. Then it smashes into awesome 80s riffing and halfway there are gang vocals. It’s a great mix of everything. This YouTube version misses the vocals at the beginning and so I think some of the effect is lost. Ah. I’ve just googled “motherless child” and now I’m not sure about this song. Is it cultural appropriation or a valid part of this album. Quick, turn that part of my brain off.

Only The Good Die Young – this we know. I’m pretty sure there’s a Maiden song called this too. This is well worth it. A lovely chorus and it would have been great to sing along to this live.

Let The Heartache Begin – opens quietly and then blasts you with a wall of classic ballad heavy rockin’.

Medicine Man – Whatever happened to the Medicine Man?

Pull Together – opening with a bass line and then heading to a wavy-riff of lovely erk sounding guitars.

Warzone – fast and war like. The vocals are perfectly matched to the subject matter here. Would be a good song to be in the pit while playing live. It’s the perfect pace and then the crowd would stop and scream out the chorus together. It’d be great. I do love a decent bass-drum bit with the guitars shutting up.

Look. This album was a lucky find. The songs still play through my head nearly thirty years after buying it. That’s the sign of a good mix of writing and production.

The band split up after this, their only, album.