Cats And Jammers: After School Special


By Bill Holmes

A three piece band with a name like Cats And Jammers who want to be TV heroes and rock stars? My God, doesn’t anyone take rock and roll seriously anymore? I mean, what would Sting say if he saw this? (Okay, Bill, enough questions, this isn’t an interview.)

Actually, Cats And Jammers is a very energetic garage band pumping out bubblegum punk songs complete with requisite themes and subjects. They have a theme song (“We’re Cats And Jammers”) which is much better than that Love Boat song, plus songs about mannequins and The Dating Game. There are bad Yuppies and Zodiac Girls and white people incapable of grooving on dance floor.

“It takes a few drinks
To get the nerve
To think that nobody can notice
That a straight line isn’t a curve.”

They also do a hellacious cover of The Kinks “I Need You,” and their percussive intro is so perfect for the energy of that song that Ray should adopt it. Overall, their music is simple but catchy, the vocals and playing good enough, and the songs short, funny and sweet. You could probably grab two friends, lock yourselves in the basement and come out in a month with the ability to play these songs as well as they do. Ah, but could you write them?

They claim to have a television show, and maybe they do, who knows. What they do have are several clips included on this CD-ROM (PC only, apparently) that range from funny interviews to videos that the early Replacements would have made (good thing, too, because the 11 songs clock in at only 23 minutes!). They have spunk (I like spunk). And a bass guitar sound to die for.

I would rate this below Splitsville’s Ultrasound and The Vandalias’ Buzz Bomb, similar efforts from more accomplished artists. But if either or both of those records caught your ear, you’ll no doubt enjoy After School Special.

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