CATS IN BOOTS: Kicked & Klawed LP Very underrated band. Fantastic US / Japanese Sleazy Hard ROCK. Check videos.


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CATS IN BOOTS: Kicked & Klawed LP
Very underrated LP on EMI USA records. This is fantastic American Hard Rock, Sleazy stuff that every one will have to listen to. Remember the songs. Shot Gun Sally and “Her Monkey”,”Whip it out”?


Category: Glam Metal
Year: 1989
Label: EMI

Joel Ellis lead vocals, harmonica
Yasuhiro “Butch” Hatae bass, vocals
Randy Meers drums, vocals
Takashi “Jam” O’Hashi guitars, vocals

1. Shot Gun Sally 3:28
2. Nine Lives (Save Me) 3:47
3. Her Monkey 4:08
4. Whip it Out 4:14
5. Long, Long Way From Home 4:15
6. Coast to Coast 3:17
7. Every Sunrise 6:13
8. Evil Angel 3:30
9. Bad Boys Are Back 4:11
10. Judas Kiss 3:25
11. Heaven on a Heartbeat 3:48

Total Running Time: 44:16

 Kicked & Klawed“, the one and only CATS IN BOOTS album appeared in 1989 for sure deserved a place on every fan’s collection.
The Cats In Boots story is the ultimate tale of late ’80s big haired rock ‘n’ roll excess. Based in Los Angeles and nudging shoulders with every Sunset Strip wannabe (including Quiet Riot, Rough Cutt, Motley Crue, and Dokken) Cats In Boots found a new path forward by developing a huge following in Japan that quickly manifested into a series of major record companies falling over themselves to get the band to sign on the dotted line.

It was EMI who won the day, lining their pockets with ready cash and a promise to make them stars. Put in the studio famed engineer Mark Opitz, the band crafted one of the era’s best, if ultimately overlooked, slices of prime time Hollywood sleaze grating hard rock. 
The hooks were huge. The guitars cut and thrust. The production sounded like a million dollars and frontman Joel Ellis screamed and preened like he had been born to boogie. Fame would come-a-knockin’ double time… or so they thought.

When Cats In Boots released their “Kicked & Klawed” opus back in 1989 there was little doubt that they were gonna cut themselves a considerable slice of the glam pie. 
Sure the competition for a spot in the major league of the hair metal division was stiff but the band had a couple of aces up their sleeves that put them above many of their contemporaries: half of the line-up was Japanese (unprecedented in the lily-white world of glam?), the buzz-saw guitar sound of Takashi ‘Jam’ O’Hashi that added an extra dose of sleaze to a sound that already dripped with attitude and street levelness and the impressive vocal range of singer Joel Ellis (who later joined Heavy Bones for another one off record).

Not surprisingly the album sold like hot cakes in Japan, but also in Europe and the UK it kicked up its share of dust with the videos for the track ‘Shot Gun Sally’ and ‘Her Monkey’ getting regular spins on MTV’s Headbangers Ball, rave reviews in metal rags like Kerrang! and Metal Forces and sales figures that secured them a spot in the import platter charts. 
Amongst the disc’s prime cuts are single ‘Shot Gun Sally’, the up-tempo ‘Nine Lives’, ‘Her Monkey’, the speedy ‘Coast To Coast’, ‘Bad Boys Are Back’ and the catchy ‘Heaven On A Heartbeat’. 

But Stateside things didn’t work out as planned and while the guys shared the opinion that the album only needed a little push to take off, their label thought it was time to cut another record. So instead of hitting the road opening up for Vince Neil and his bad boys, Cats In Boots were forced to stay in LA and to start thinking about new songs. 
Needless to stay that second record never materialized mainly because of inner band turmoil and the feeling that Cats In Boots had walked its walk.
One can only wonder what might have surfaced if singer Joel Ellis and Jam had taken the band a chapter further. Personally I think the guys had it in them to come up with another killer release. 

Two decades & half later “Kicked & Klawed” still sounds as good to these ears as it did when first picked up upon release. Almost every song is a winner and that justifies the kind of praise it’s been given by glam and sleazy hard rock aficionados. 
The overall sound of the band is raw, sleazy, energetic, revved up with the operative word being FUN and when listening to the disc you just know that these guys lived the rock ‘n roll life style 24 hours a day. HIGHLY Recommended

A sleaze metal band that at times beat bands such as Motley Crue at their own game, however disinterest caused this trashy rock band to disband with little fanfare. Guitarist Takashi “Jam” O’Hashi had reached stardom in his home country of Japan while wearing traditional Kabuki make up and claiming to be “the second coming of the devil” in the band Seiki Matsu. But he had his eye on American acclaim and together with his bassist friend Yasuhiro “Butch” Hatae they headed to Los Angeles. It was there that they spotted a band called Merri Hoax and more importantly their singer, Joel Ellis. The persistence of O’Hashi and Hatae won Ellis over, and with the addition of his drumming band mate Randy Meers, Cats In Boots was born. They recorded a demo and then went off to Japan where O’Hashis name and rock magazines helped push the album to #1 on the independent charts on its way to selling over 10,000 copies. The first major label release, Kicked & Klawed featured some re-recorded versions of songs of the East Meets West demo and shot to #3 on the Japanese charts, unfortunately success was limited elsewhere.

Amidst the other hair bands in the late 80s, Cats In Boots were gravely overlooked. They were, perhaps, the most underrated metal band of the late 80s. Joel Ellis has a killer rock ‘n’ roll voice and the riffs on this are incredible. I envy anybody who owns an original copy of this LP. I never bought one, but now I wish I had.

Shotgun Sally is worth the price you might pay for this one alone. An absolutely superb album in every department with riffs to die for, especially on the tracks Shotgun Sally and Bad Boys Are Back. I strongly urge anyone into this genre to get themselves a copy of this LP.

if you don’t like this album you have a problem for sure!

The classical 80s glam rock band. Not too hard, not too pop. shotgun Sally’ , ‘Nine Lives’ and ‘Judas Kiss’ are good hard rockin’ tracks and the singer is heavily influenced by Vince Neil. At times they beat Motley crue at their own game!!!

Additional information

Weight 0.25 kg


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