From page 12 of Classic Rock Magazine June 2011
Catapilla, Vertigo Records, 1971 Up to £280 for a mint vinyl copy Another album on the highly collectable Vertigo swirl label, Catapilla is the self-titled debut from this excellent West London jazz-rock progressive band. While it’s relatively rare, their second record, Changes , is one of the most sought after releases on the label, generally changing hands for in excess of a grand.
Unfortunately the more straight-laced end of the prog-rock community tends to unfairly dismiss both Catapilla albums, mainly due to the unconventional style of vocalist Anna Meek. However, it’s her witch-like shrieks that are also part of the band’s appeal to many others. Opener Naked Death is a prime example of her enigmatic charm.
Musically the album is a heady hybrid of psychedelic free-jazz, funky rhythms and killer fuzzed out wah-wah guitar.
Comprising four long tracks (with Embryonic Fusion, taking up the whole of side two, clocking in at 24' 08") it’s certainly in a world of it’s own. On paper it may sound like an endurance test, but it just seems to work if you let it.
Housed in a striking, gatefold sleeve and produced by then Black Sabbath manager Patrick Meehan, Catapilla is a head-trip of its time that certainly isn’t for everyone, but the exceptional playing and its uniqueness make it more than worthy of investigation. Perhaps the aforementioned, slightly more restrained follow-up, Changes , is an easier entry for the fainter of heart. The problem there, of course, is finding a copy. LD