Just Plain Todd – Caterpillar Daydreams

Just Plain Todd
Caterpillar Daydreams

Just Plain Todd’s genesis seems to have come from some uncertain beginnings. According to the band’s bio, “Just Plain Todd is the brainchild of Patrick Collette, a college dropout who has been playing guitar and writing music since high school.” After listening to the band’s Caterpillar Daydreams album, one can see a reason why Collette decided to concentrate more on music. The album is a wonderful mix of intricate guitar, soft percussion, tortured vocals, and textured piano. Collette knows his music and this record brings a wonderful blend of a variety of different sounds and showcases his undeniable talent.
“2:00 a.m.,” the album’s opener, begins with some strange sounds and ambient noise as it builds towards a drudgy and awkward track. A dirty guitar sound and Cure-sque vocals are prominent, and, when compared to the rest of the album, one wonders if it is even the same band. The next song, “Eggshells,” changes tones completely. The guitar is quiet and melancholy, and the overall tone is beautiful. Aching vocals and great atmosphere bring us closer into the world of the tune. Think Red House Painters meets a quiet R.E.M. Great song. There’s an interesting transition as “Eggshells” flows right in to the next song “Eureka.” This number brings a similar feel in tone as the previous one.
“Waterfalls” features a cascading piano line over some soft percussion as the song delivers a trancey, head nodding effect. “A Good Friend” starts off with a tad bit heavier intro that leads into a bouncy bassline and catchy chorus. It reminds one of an 80’s pop song but minus the cheesy synthsizer. The vocals on this number go from the quiet and the typical sound from the rest of the album to sounding faintly like Bruce Springsteen, especially on the chorus. The finale to the record is a revisiting of the great “Eggshells.” This time though the track is heavier, with distorted guitar replacing the quiet tones of the original version. Although the previous version of the song is better, this is a nice revision as all the instruments come out in full force.
The album’s sound brings a DIY/home recorded feel. At the same time, the sound is crisp and clear. This is not just some 4-track basement demo. The band knows what it is doing, and, while the sound is a bit hollow at times, the overall effect is nice.
Caterpillar Daydreams gives the listener a glimpse of the diversity and talent of Just Plain Todd. Aside from the bizarre opener to the album, the record is a solid one, and indie rock fans should take notice.