The Must-Haves 

Local musicians name the three essential CDs of their genre.

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The Catalyst

— Hard Rock

Constantly on tour and networking around the country, The Catalyst, the stoner-noise-grunge-hardcore band with two drummers, has been on the scene since 2002. Its members believe that if you are truly passionate about music, you can't help but play your tunes with your entire body. The result? After each set they're a completely unapproachable, bloody mess.

Keep an eye out for the band's 2006 demo cassette, "Freak Out the Squares," and summer shows with Mass Movement of the Moth, which kicked off June 6. The Catalyst is Eric Smith (guitar/vocals), Michael Backus (bass guitar), Kevin Broderick (drums) and Jamie Faulstich (drums/guitar).

Smith shared the band's recommendations of the three essential CDs in the hard-rock category. — Hilary Langford

1. Born Against, "Nine Patriotic Hymns for Children"

"This record does not let up. Sam McPheeters' vocal styling and darkly satirical lyrics are the backbone to some of the most relentless, noisy rock-and-roll riffs that have ever been written."

2. Nirvana, "In Utero"

"The last and probably most underappreciated record by the poster boys of 1990s slacker rock. Say what you will about that social movement, and this band's über-dramatic front man, but beneath the tornado that is these 12 songs lies an element of musicianship that no band has ever been able to reproduce no matter how hard they tried."

3. Led Zeppelin, "IV"

"Oh yes, believe the hype. There's a reason every suburban kid with a Stratocaster feels so elated the day they stumble onto the first four chords of 'Stairway to Heaven.' It's when we stopped living with our parents that we started to understand the appeal of their generation's music, and the appeal of this record can be summed up in three words: John Henry Bonham — greatest, hardest-hitting monster of a drummer, ever." S

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