This is so good. Good honest punky rock n roll. You could be forgiven for never having heard of Satan’s Rats, despite them being one of the original 1977 punk bands, having opened for Sex Pistols and played at the legendary Roxy Club. You will not find them at Rebellion Festival, along with all the other “punks not dead” combos. By 1979 as punk gave way to New Wave, things changed for the Rats. Recruiting a new singer in Wendy Wu, they changed their name to The Photos and signed to Epic Records, who tried to market them as the British Blondie. Despite delivering a Top 4 album The Photos never lived up to their full potential and split up in 1981, before their second album was released. The members went their various ways and Wendy Wu sunk without a trace after an unspectacular solo career.
Fast forward 40 or so years to Satan’s Cats, with original members Olly Harrison (drums), Dave Sparrow (bass) and Steve Eagles (Guitar), now augmented by punk chanteuse Puss Johnson from Pussycat & The Dirty Johnsons on vocals. They’ve dug into their original back catalogue and chosen four original songs after Harrison & Johnson discounted several others, before taking on a cover of Thin Lizzy’s classic “The Rocker”. Those familiar with her work with the Dirty Johnsons, will love the way she’s taken these on and made them her own. Dave Sparrow is a bass animal on these tracks, nor more so than on Year of The Rats, my personal favourite.
The years have done nothing to diminish the power of the four tracks chosen, “You Make Me Sick”, “Façade”, “Sex Object” and “Year of The Rats”. Puss’s vocals have added another dimension and breathed new life into them, reminiscent of Toyah at her very best, adding her own distinctive feline touch. I wonder how different things might have been if they’d had someone like Puss on vocals originally.
Rounding off this 5 track EP is the superb cover of Thin Lizzy’s “The Rocker”, with a few subtle lyrical changes from the original 1973 track, chosen because the band thought it lent itself nicely to Miss Johnson’s vocal style. Well? They’re not wrong, it’s an absolute ball cruncher.
Eagles has intimated that there may be an album in the offing, depending on the EP’s reception. Start petitioning Rebellion Festival now for 2023, as there can’t be a more deserving original punk band and it would be great to see Puss rip Blackpool a new one!
Satan’s Cats EP is out now on Salamander Records as CD and download.