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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catch_Thirtythree explains:

Lyrically, the album is a concept album, revolving around different kinds of paradoxes, hence the title Catch Thirtythree (see Catch-22).

I cannot understand the derivation of 33 from 22. Can someone explain it to me?

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4 Answers

I would read this as Catch-33 being just like Catch-22 except each digit is incremented, therefore it is deemed by Meshuggah to be a more (or moar) emphatic statement.

Remember Nigel Tufnel (Christopher Guest) in This Is Spın̈al Tap, talking about how his band's amps "go to 11" where ordinary amps only go to 10? "Well, it's louder, innit?"

Nigel Tufnel: The numbers all go to eleven. Look, right across the board, eleven, eleven, eleven and...

Marty DiBergi: Oh, I see. And most amps go up to ten?

Nigel Tufnel: Exactly.

Marty DiBergi: Does that mean it's louder? Is it any louder?

Nigel Tufnel: Well, it's one louder, isn't it? It's not ten. You see, most blokes, you know, will be playing at ten. You're on ten here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, you're on ten on your guitar. Where can you go from there? Where?

Marty DiBergi: I don't know.

Nigel Tufnel: Nowhere. Exactly. What we do is, if we need that extra push over the cliff, you know what we do?

Marty DiBergi: Put it up to eleven.

Nigel Tufnel: Eleven. Exactly. One louder.

Marty DiBergi: Why don't you just make ten louder and make ten be the top number and make that a little louder?

Nigel Tufnel: [pause] These go to eleven.

Hey, it's only rock 'n' roll ...

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I'm trying to fix the heavy metal umlauts - I'm not sure if the problems with n̈ are my fault, firefox's or Stack Overflow's. –  Andrew Grimm Apr 28 '11 at 23:49
    
@Andrew: I tried too, fail. Guess that's why he put it over the a! –  Callithumpian Apr 29 '11 at 3:12
    
@Andrew: Well, that's better. "It's like a pair of eyes. You're looking at the umlaut, and it's looking at you." –  Callithumpian Apr 29 '11 at 3:37
    
Just as well -- if it were spelled with the n-diaeresis, the name would be pronounced "spingal tap". ("Hey, that would be a good name for a band...") –  Malvolio Apr 29 '11 at 3:54
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My reading of a catch-33 would be a situation that involves three mutually logically contradictory necessary conditions, where a catch-22 involves two.

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It might have been intended that way by the band; but does the number 22 in Catch-22 in the book refer to the pair of conditions? Isn't it rather a random bureaucratic label? –  Cerberus Mar 6 '11 at 1:26
    
I would imagine so, since in the original draft of the novel it was Catch-18, but then Leon Uris's Mila 18 came out and Heller had to renumber his book right before publication. Funny, Mila 18 is almost forgotten today and "Catch-22" is part of the language. –  Malvolio Apr 28 '11 at 23:39
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12" vinyl albums (you know, the things from before CDs) rotate at 33⅓ RPM, often just referred to as 33 RPM (by way of contrast with 7" singles which are "45s"). So perhaps Meshuggah were thinking of this when they chose to replace Joseph Heller's 22 with 33, since it is an album we are talking about (although I imagine its main release is on CD rather than 12" vinyl).

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Does their album involve guns? (I notice it refers to nuclear warfare)

If so, maybe it's a reference to .33 caliber guns, like Rule 303 refers to .303 caliber guns.

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It's been a long time since .33 was a popular caliber. .32 and .38, yes, but .33? The old cowboy Winchesters but since then? –  Malvolio Apr 28 '11 at 23:38
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