The seven-track effort features potent sociopolitical lyrics and a lengthy list of guest vocalists to deliver them.
The previously released single “Radium Girls” is influenced by the real-life story of the female factory workers who died after being exposed to toxic amounts radium in the early 20th century. The track boasts vocal contributions of Jehnny Beth from Savages, Carl Restivo, Nadya Tolokonnikova of Pussy Riot, Aimee Interrupter (The Interrupters), Mish Way (White Lung), and The Last Internationale.
Elsewhere, Chilean-French singer Ana Tijoux appears on the track “Lightning Over Mexico”, which eulogizes 43 missing Mexican students.
“In the midst of the darkest days of the pandemic I sent some scratchy voice memo recordings of guitar riffs to The Bloody Beetroots,” Morello said in a press release regarding the EP. “What came back were huge devastating grooves which became the genesis of The Catastrophists EP. Working on these songs with the Italian based The Bloody Beetroots was a literal life raft during a time of fear and anxiety. The Catastrophists is unapologetically riff heavy but laced with a dark tension, reflecting the times. … [The EP] kept me sane and unexpectedly allowed me to make connections and really push myself as a guitarist, songwriter, and artist during a period of isolation.”
As The Bloody Beetroots explained, the two acts had been trying to collaborate for over two years before schedules finally opened during the pandemic — though they were forced to work remotely: “This record is the result of 2-plus years of misaligned schedules, then a 14-month lockdown that forced us to work from different continents. Clearly this was meant to be. It needed to exist.”
Stream Tom Morello and The Bloody Beetroots’ The Catastrophists EP below, and purchase it here.