Meet Cat and the Underdogs – A Lesson in Punk

Fun fact: Sweden, known for producing a plethora of Black Metal bands, had one of the most robust punk rock scenes in the late 70s and 80s with legends like Ebba Grön, Rude Kids, Mob 47 and Anti Cimex leading the way.

Cat and the Underdogs from the “smallish” towns of Kristinehamn and Karlstadare might be infused with the spirit of 1977, but it’s not a fluke, these guys are legit! Members have spent time in legendary Swedish punk bands Ernst And The Edsholm Rebels (E.A.T.E.R.), AVSKUM, and Hollywood Indians, to name a few. So it goes without saying that they know their way around punk rock.

Their 4-track EP “The Cops Are Coming” is a lesson in how to pack the history of punk into four songs. We’re talking big sing along choruses like GBH, UK Subs or the Cockney Rejects with the death street punk of Turbonegro. The lead off title track is the perfect opener with its dirty Stiff Little Fingers riff and sing-along chorus. “Night and Day” reminds me of the aforementioned Turbonegro and “Quite Alright” and it’s chugging riff will have you doing the pogo around the living room. The closer “Gimme Everything” is a trashy Stooges rocker with a crap tonne of energy jammed into 1:39.

Hopefully Cat and the Underdogs will have a full-length out this year, but in the meantime I’ve been playing the hell out of these four songs and you should too.

We caught up with guitarist Åke to give us the lowdown and he even threw in a wicked playlist.

Cat and the Underdogs
Marcus – Vocals
Jarle – Bass
Håkan – Guitar
Åke – Guitar
Lars – Drums

Give us a short version of the bands’ musical history.

​Cat and the Underdogs started out as a drunken project with big plans at a Birthday
Party six years ago. But the biggest diffrence with these drunken project bands, is that Cat and the Underdogs actually became a band. Since then we’ve been rehearsing with diffrent singers until we found Marcus a four years ago and the band shaped into what it is today. During the years we’ve done a couple of handfull gigs, supporting Stiff Little Fingers, P.R.O.B.L.E.M.S. and Boomtown Rats. We are lazy basterds.

Tell us about your hometown scene and how you fit into the scene…

Since we live in a small towns, Karlstad and Kristinehamn in Sweden, there is’nt many bands right now, there is an Oi band and some Punk Rock bands. But through the years there have been many good bands, such as Skäms, AVSKUM, Hollywood Indians and E.A.T.E.R.

Who are you favorite lyricists and what lyric floors you?

Personally I like Sisters of Mercy and Andrew Eldritch lyrics and off course Bowie, Iggy and Lou. What lyric floors me? Must be Lou and A Perfect Day, one of the songs that will be played on my funeral.

Describe your sound as a cocktail – what’s in it and what’s it called?

Fill a glass with ice, fill in 6 cl US Hardcore and fill it up and let it pour over with UK 77 Punk Rock​ and a dash of humour.

If you could pick any time and place to travel back to for music, where would you go and what year would it be….?

We have been around since 1977 so we havn’t missed much of the Punk scence, we might be old, but we’ve seen all the good bands! =)
Well maybe back in 1964-1965 with the exploding Garage band scene in the US or was it exploding?

If you could tour with any band/artist right now who would that be and why?

Stiff Little Fingers, FLAG/OFF!, Cynide Pills or The Briefs/Cute Lepers, great bands in the same vein as us and the right attitude.

Give us your 10 song playlist for the tour van/bus/plane?

Zero Boys – Civilization’s Dying
The Clash – Compleate Control
The Now – Into The 80’s
New York Dolls – Chatterbox
Adverts – Bored Teenagers
The Boys – I Don’t Care
Channel 3 – I’ve Got A Gun
Gun Club – Sex Beat
Sonic’s Rendezvous Band – City Slang
Johnny Moped – Incendiary Device

Bubblin right under…
The Rings – I Wanna Be Free
The Saints – Demolition Girls
UK Subs – Living Dead
The Jam – Away From The Numbers

Here is the complete list:

When you’re not playing and have some time off, where could we find you…

Travelling, driving Italian scooters, collecting records, getting drunk and spending time on the country side.

What’s up for the rest of 2018?

Right now we are writing new songs for the next 7″ for a spring release and an album, that hopefully will be out in September/October 2018. ​We’ll do a short UK tour in Mars and we got som connections with Rebellion Festivals, so let’s see what happens there. And offcourse alot of gigging in Scandinavia.

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Stephen

Domestic now, but spent early to late 80s playing drums in a hair metal band in Toronto. Since then I've lost the hair and have found new ways to scratch the rock and roll itch.

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