In the wake of The Clash, The Damned and Sex Pistols many took up the DIY democratisation of music ethos and put together a punk band who gained themselves a reputation even if they vanished fairly quickly.
One such band were Satan’s Rats who formed in 1977 before releasing an EP and album (as well as supporting the Sex Pistols) and then morphed into New Wave band The Photos as the 1980s approached.
I’ll admit to being unfamiliar with their oeuvre up to now but, in 2022, three of the band’s past members (Steve Eagles on guitar, Dave Sparrow on bass and Olly Harrison on drums) reconvened with Puss Johnson, of Pussycat & The Dirty Johnsons, on lead vocals and released the Satan’s Cats EP.
The first four tracks here are reworkings of original Rats’ numbers and they have a real classic punk feel with The Ramones certainly coming to mind with the buzzsaw like guitars and the snotty attitude of the Sex Pistols more than present too.
Opener, You Make Me Sick, is a classic punk stomper with some very tasty, almost Matt Freeman from Rancid like, bass work as Puss’ vocals rage against the conceited and the arrogant.
Facade then really brings the Ramones feel to the fore with a nice added wrinkle of something a bit more new wave while tackling that classic punk rock theme of legitimacy and truth.
While these songs are reworked Sex Object really sounds like it could have been written by Puss Johnson as it tackles something I’m sure many female singers in bands have experienced, but in this it is one of the EP’s highlights.
Year Of The Rat, seemingly the original band’s calling card, is another high point and has the feel of a classic before a cover of Thin Lizzy’s The Rocker brings a punk blues feel to things almost heading into AC/DC territory but with a little more nuance.
All this makes Satan’s Cats a great listen and they don’t sound at all like a band thrown together for a one off, so I hope we get to hear more from them, and, while it’s not breaking any new ground, if solid examples of classic punk rock are your thing there’s a lot to like here.
This sounds good. Had never heard of Satan’s rats or cats. Of course I have heard of the sex pistols though. Thanks for the story 🙂