There are so many nods to the earlier nineties version of pop punk music in Cats and Jammersâ€™ first track on â€œWhole Lotta Goddamnâ€ that one almost feels as if they are listening to â€œDookieâ€ all over again. The only thing that really distinguishes Cats and Jammers from the rest of the acts out there is more of an appreciation for the sixties rock that would eventually filter down to pop punk via The Ramones. Further tracks, such as â€œWill I Die Young?â€ seem to have a veneer to them that looks much more towards alt-rock than the pop punk opening to â€œWhole Lotta Goddamnâ€.
The one major tie that both these styles of tracks have is that Cats and Jammers infuse them with a tremendously catchy poppiness that will keep resonating in listenersâ€™ ears well after the disc ends. A middle ground is finally reached with tracks like â€œEvil Alien Hoaxâ€, which still snaps with a punk bite but is in a realm completely its own. The echoing vocals present during â€œEvil Alien Hoaxâ€ gives Cats & Jammers a body during the track that pushes them even closer to greatness. At thirty five minutes, Cats & Jammers push through their agenda in record time; if someone blinks, they are going to be sadly disappointed. The bandâ€™s maturity allows them to say volumes in each and every song; when the band throws in something completely unexpected (the odd backing noises during â€œPropaganda Slavesâ€), this only increases their stock in my eyes. What results during â€œWhole Lotta Goddamnâ€ is a band that traipses easily through a number of linked style in the creation of a different style that never fails to stay interesting.
The simple fact that Cats & Jammers can start with a very Knack like sound on their â€œLips That I Missâ€, throw in a little Husker Du and Pinhead Gunpowder, and still infuse the track with their own essence (specifically through Scottâ€™s vocals) should be impressive enough to shock listeners into purchasing this album. Almost ten years have passed since the band coalesced into the entity that one hears on â€œWhole Lotta Goddamnâ€; with first â€œPropose Toastâ€ and then â€œWhole Lotta Goddamnâ€, one has to think that Cats & Jammersâ€™ time is now. Hereâ€™s to hoping their star starts shooting upward like they deserve, and that the average music fan will gain an appreciation for Cats & Jammers that is long overdue.
Top Tracks: Lips That I Miss, Rock and Roll Invasion
Cats & Jammers â€“ Whole Lotta Goddamn / 2005 Scotch Hell Records / 12 Tracks / http://www.catsandjammers.net / Reviewed 07 January 2006