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Articles Home » 1989 Articles » Cats In Boots - 1989 Kicked & Klawed
Cats In Boots - 1989 Kicked & Klawed

ARTIST: Cats In Boots
ALBUM: Kicked And Klawed
LABEL: EMI America
SERIAL: CDP-7-91172-2
YEAR: 1989
CD REISSUE: 2009, Rock Candy Records, CANDY048 * 2012, Demon Doll Records


LINEUP: Joel Ellis - lead vocals * Takashi 'Jam' O'Hashi - guitars * Yasuhiro 'Butch' Hatae - bass * Randii Meers - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Shot Gun Sally * 02 Nine Lives (Save Me) * 03 Her Monkey * 04 Whip It Out * 05 Long, Long Way From Home * 06 Coast To Coast * 07 Every Sunrise * 08 Evil Angel * 09 Bad Boys Are Back * 10 Judas Kiss * 11 Heaven On A Heartbeat


From the hair metal era of the late 80's comes this half American half Japanese outfit. Formed around former Merri Hoax lead singer Joel Ellis, Cats In Boots typify the glam metal sound coming out of California at the time, lining up alongside the likes of Faster Pussycat, Bang Tango and Motley Crue, but with less panache than any of that lot. Ellis originates from Cleveland, as did Merri Hoax. On one of their jaunts to Los Angeles, it was there that the Japanese duo of O'Hashi and Hatae saw Ellis singing live, subsequently convincing him and drummer Meers to be part of the CIB project. The quartet returned to Japan to establish themselves there. According to Internet sources, Ellis did have a few 'irons in the fire' regarding his involvement in other projects with other 'name' players at the time, but chose to go to Japan instead. Their first recording was a demo called 'Demonstration: East Meets West'. Released in 1988, the demo album was a successful independent release in Japan, of which some of the songs were re-released for their major label debut on EMI America a year later.

The Songs
Highlights of the band include the furious guitar work from O'Hashi which lends this band to a harder glam/sleaze metal edge a la Swedish metallers Shotgun Messiah. The production from Mark Opitz is stellar, and brings to life all of these songs. Things get underway with the bruising 'Shot Gun Sally', you can witness the video for this song below. 'Nine Lives' fuses Motley Crue circa 'Girls Girls Girls' era with some party time Van Halen for good measure. 'Her Monkey' is one of those demo tracks bought forward a year, and sounds huge with the new production. This one has a great presence, slinky guitar lines and a Billy Idol like attitude. Ellis stalks and crawls across the soundscape on 'Whip It Out', and to add fuel to the fire - there is no respite on the sleaze laden 'Long Long Way From Home'. You'll be tapping your toes to the foot-stomp of 'Coast To Coast', and after that little hoe-down is finished, you can slide off to the bar for a cold beer while the semi-ballad 'Every Sunrise' is doing the rounds! Back for the last four songs on the album, CIB appear to be getting harder and heavier.. 'Evil Angel' is a bit stop/start, 'Bad Boys Are Back' is as suggestive as the title indicates, while 'Judas Kiss' and 'Heaven On A Heartbeat' are two of the heaviest tracks on the album, riffs a plenty, and Ellis could best be described as the bastard child of Vince Neil and Dave Lee Roth!

In Summary
The album didn't do particularly well sales wise, with Japan being the only exception. 'Kicked And Klawed' reached #3 on their charts. Dropped soon after by EMI, Ellis left the band to form a supergroup of sorts: Heavy Bones alongside Gary Hoey and drummer Frankie Banali. Unreleased material would surface many years later, and to their credit, Cats In Boots reformed for a mini tour of Japan during 2003. It would not surprise me to see future material from this band, because at the moment (2009 as I write this article), sleaze and glam bands seem to be on the rise, though no official declaration that these genres are back with a vengeance has been made by Kelv Hellrazer.. or Kim Fowley for that matter.. lol! Ensuring that the Cats In Boots name is still in the frame, Rock Candy Records has recently re-issued this album with all the usual fanfare of remastering, bountiful liner notes and a heap of new photos. Check it out!

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#1 | gdazegod on August 17 2014 00:59:49
Cats In Boots - 1989 Shotgun Sally
YouTube Video:
#2 | super80boy on May 13 2017 23:58:23
An over-looked hard charging sleaze metal gem with some nice bluesy vibes. They had musicianship talent, grade A production team members, most notably Mark Opitz and major label backing in EMI. Both album music video singles are big swaggering affairs, 'Her Money' and 'Shot Gun Sally'. There's really no filler tracks here, it's all quality.
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