Sound — 10
The sound has become heavier as the band promised, following the sequence of each record getting heavier sound-wise. This album differs from the older ones because the band use more riffs and also different guitar techniques. They also used different guitars to produce different sounds in the record too. One of the stand-out tracks is the love ballad, 'I Don't Wanna Know', because a string quartet as well as the band's instruments. There is also female backing vocals on the song to go with Jordan's nasal vocals too, which is also something new. Although the sound has become more 'hardcore', there are still elements of punk there, (most noticably Jordan's voice and the uplifting choruses we all associate with NFG)the sound change actually makes the band more serious distancing them more from pop-punk bands like Good Charlotte and Simple Plan, which is a good thing. Despite all the changes involving sound, it is still the NFG we know and love but much heavier and maturerer. But a step in the right direction. Unlike the sound of Blink 182's self titled, which is totally different. The downside of the album is that they're aren't really any proper solos in the whole album.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics have matured quite a lot since 'Sticks & Stones', although a lot of the songs on the album and on the previous albums talk about the bad points about love and relationships, 'I Don't Wanna Know' is really the opposite and talks about the good points at the beginning of a relationship which is different for the band. Unlike previous records, the band also sing about different issues that concern them, on the intro of the record the band hit back at the critics who say they're not punk and complain about manufactured bands in the music industry, another one of the songs, 'No News Is Good News' they sing about issues that concern the whole world itself an how messed up it is. On yet another track, 'I'd Kill to Fall Asleep' they even sing about insomnia. Their lyrics are really good and have matured a lot in 2 years, but theres room for improvement.
Overall Impression — 10
'Catalyst' in my opinion is probablys the best NFG to date, with their debut 'Nothing Gold Can Stay' following close behind. The best songs are 'This Disaster','I Don't Wanna Know','Ending In Tragedy' and 'Who Am I?'. I loved the fact that they've become heavier and more mature in the lyric content without losing the sound of the previous albums, but adding to it. If it were stolen or lost, I think I would go out and but it again because it is already one of my fave albums. The low points of the album are the fact most songs are about love and relationships, and there arent any amazing guitar solos like on the cover of Warrant's 'Heaven'. Compared to Blink 182's self titled this wins by a mile and although the issues mentioned are serious, it is much more fun and enjoyable to listen to. I would definitely recommend it to NFG fans and people who enjoy punk too. The band promised and haven't disappointed at all, go out and buy it coz you'll see a whole new side to NFG you haven't seen before.