Now based in Amsterdam, Java The Cat originally hail from Boston and could be best described as a cross between a mellow Less Than Jake or Rancid at their most Ska-like. However within these Reggae and Ska influenced Punk songs we also have the straight up Punk of ‘Mistake’ that could shake the foundations of any club, whilst ‘The Carnival’ is piled with chugging riffs, and with it’s Rock’N’Roll influenced melodies could be one of those songs that Lars Frederiksen would’ve penned and then sung on a Rancid track. However Java The Cat have an original strength in their more Ska lent songs, and the first song on this album, ‘Hold My Beer And Watch This’ showcases this well as an instrumental with short melodic Ska guitar riffs and keyboards.
‘Blur’ shows that within the Ska genre you can still have flashes of heavy Metal riffs, giving the sound a little more balls once in a while. ‘Goodmorning’ is a mid-tempo love song, with Geoff Lagadec singing, “Don’t want to catch a fire with // Anyone else but you // Don’t want to share my last line with anyone // Else but you // I don’t wanna dance to Drum N Bass // And have some other bitch come and // Take your place…”. Whilst ‘Thank You Reggae’ does just that, name dropping bands like, Operation Ivy, Bad Brains, Sublime and Delroy Wilson.
‘Chemical Salvation’ starts off with big riffs, before chilling back into a thoughtful song with the popular album lyrics surrounding: time wasting, drink and drugs. The chorus is a real head nodder reminding me slightly of Papa Roach before they went bad…Later in the great song, ‘Pass The Ammunition’, we have a flippant political look at the world through the eyes of a stoner, that is more honest than anything you will see on the idiot box. ‘Night Bus’ is everything that is good about these guys, heavy riffs in places with strong drums, and chunky bass, that all chills slightly in the verses before building up for a big chorus. Great stuff! It’s therefore good to see the same in, ‘Voice Of The Poor’, whilst ‘Government Center’ could be a song written by Less Than Jake collaborating with NOFX. Last song, ‘Closing Time’ is a mellow song with an electronic beat and guitars that are almost acoustic closing out the album nicely.
Jaya The Cat have released three albums before this one so how they have missed me is a complete mystery! Anyone who likes Ska, but with a Rock edge will enjoy the chilled mid-tempo tunes, with the gravely Punk voice over the top, whilst there are more than a few flashes of Metal riffs to keep every man and his, er, cat, happy. All in all an entertaining album, chaps!