The Catch
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The Catch

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The best kept secret in music


by Samuel Aaron
4.5 of 5 stars
These girls want to kiss you, and then promptly kick your ass into next Tuesday. Like a blast of fresh air in the stale world of modern female rockers, The Catch have arrived to sweep you off your feet while giving you a bloody nose and you will fall in love all over again.

I don’t know what I was expecting when I received this in the mail, nothing I had read, researched or talk to anyone about really clarified what these Seattlites would be – luckily they are shattering the mold of droopy mope-rock and sunny day am pop with this sassy (and surprisingly fresh) blast of power pop.

Imagine what would have happened if Veruca Salt lost that glossy corporate sheen, or if Bjork decided to just rock rock, imagine if you will what would happen if Courtney Love didn’t suck or if Pep Squad was still around; if you can imagine any of that then you have a good guess what The Catch sound like.

I think the sudden lack of good hard female rock in the US has fueled my love for this band, when Le Tigre collapsed into seventies disco-isms, The Donnas add some extra sickenly sweet candy to their music and Courtney Love being…well Courtney Love; I had almost completely lost hope for hearing something original and fun. Sure there were plenty of girls playing radio friendly ‘safe’ rock (pointing the finger at Garbage, Tsunami Bomb and the Distillers), or playing the typical folk – ‘faux’ – punk (PJ Harvey), but no one was having fun anymore.

So I welcome salvation.

Sometimes singer Carly Nicklaus sounds oddly like a punked out Bjork, but she has warped herself into a category all itself, and don’t let it scare you – because its beautiful; she wraps herself into the blanket of music created by keyboardist Amy Rockwell, and the amazing rhythm section of Jenny Jimenez (bass) and Alissa Newton (drums), somehow everything clicks and explodes into just the right amount.

From the opening track, straight through the ending, there is enough punch, sass, bitterness and love to consume you and pull you down to their level up in the sky. “After Party” closes the album out and sounds like, you guessed it, an after party, it is sweltering and fast, but slow and chaotic and like any runway models nightmare, it burns the song into your skull, keep humming.

So to be absolutely short and too the point – go buy this album. Throw a party, and make out with someone beautiful while listening to the melodies playing through your speakers; this music is for life, enjoy it.

read it here:
- Get Cool Review

by Matt Schild
With all the emo kids, indie rockers and rock’n’roll types so fond of talking about betrayals, breakups, boo-hoos and all the other assorted dangers of love, you’d think we approach love with the same death-and-taxes resignation as a semiannual natural disaster. Love, if you listen to most rock acts, is a pretty crummy thing.

The Catch approaches affairs of the heart from a more traditional point of view, one where love isn’t the personal disaster along the lines of leprosy, an audit notice or a root canal. On the Seattle band’s debut, Get Cool, Love, for all its ups and downs, is still a great part of life.

Now most of the band’s hometown hipsters may dismiss the love-is-grand notion as something as outdated as fraying flannel, as simpleminded doting, but The Catch shows that there’s more to romanticism than simple puppy love. Sure, the act’s buzzing power pop checks everyone from Olympia’s The Bangs to The Ramones and The Go-Go’s and, in the process kicks out some somewhat happy love ditties: “True Romance” juggles Green Day and Ramones riffs with juicy keyboard melodies to pay tribute to the stuff of storybook love. “Empty Your Pockets” takes Coney Island organs and rollicking power pop to point as singer/guitarist Carly Jean Nicklaus coos on and on about the buzz of a crystallizing crush.

Come to think of it, maybe The Catch is old fashioned. That’s exactly where its charms lie. Relying more on the glitz and swing of big guitars and cotton-candy keyboards than morose pop, Get Cool is the type of classic power-pop album that could have been released in 1992, 1983 or 1978 and sounded just as natural as it does now. Even with Nicklaus goes into the bummer parts of love – relationship meltdowns – as in “Nothin’ but Time” she’s not embittered, detached or whiny: She, like generations of castoff lovers before her, is simply lonely. It’s certainly a simple mood, but The Catch doesn’t waste time building tales of heartache to wrench our hearts. Love’s a roller coaster and Get Cool looks to enjoy both its climbs and plummets, as the quartet pounds away at gooey ear-candy.

read it here:
- Get Cool Review

by Jim C
Get Cool is the very brand new release from Seattle sweethearts the Catch. It straddles a potentially dangerous line: too punky to be noo-wave, too noo-wavey to be punk. Let's split the difference and call it power pop.

It does call to mind in feel the great pop bands of the mid- to late- 70's that just missed (and missed out on the spoils of) the nascent new wave movement, bands like Robin Lane and the Chartbusters, the Records, Bram Tchaikovsky, and the Motors. (Know 'em? If you don't, stop and get thee to a used record store. If you do, continue reading…).

There's something of a bubblegum quality to the songs as well, especially in the vocal inflections on the uptempo tracks, which sound like they come from a teenager run wild rather than the twentysomethings they proclaim themselves to be in album closer "After Party."

But Get Cool isn't all sweetness and light. Many of the songs are about boys (which fits nicely, corrected for gender and orientation, into my holy troika of rock topics: girls, God, and drugs) and problems associated therewith. There's little of the carefree teen in album opener "Nothin' But Time," which sounds equal parts sexy and angry (kinda like my wife, bah-dum-bum) with its theme rooted in longing. It's a little punky and a little formulaic — it sounds a little like a Blink 182 or Green Day song, in the best of ways — and occasionally lapses into Courtney Love-isms on the vocals, but from there the album takes off into a much more interesting direction.

Amy Rockwell's monophonic-style noo-wavey keyboards bubble into the mix more prominently and help keep things feeling light. Carly Nicklaus' vocals have an engaging and enthusiastic quality, with just a hint of a sneer (often reminding me of Nina Gordon/Louise Post from Veruca Salt — and that's definitely a good thing, damnit!). It give the listener the impression that much fun was had making this record, always a cool (and hard to capture) quality. When the tempos come down, that same bubbly voice convincingly shifts gear to a more intense and provocative feel. The rhythm section of Jenny Jimenez (bass) and Alissa Newton (drums) remains tight throughout, always critical to the success of any album with pop aspirations, which Get Cool clearly has.

While the Catch are working overtime to remind me of late seventies power pop (not too mention a little Runaways style sassy rockin'), I think they might have had more of an ear for the early nineties pogo poppers like Elastica in the UK and the aforementioned Veruca Salt from here at home (okay, well from Chicago). Like those bands, there's some snotty attitude mixed in with the young, popular, and sexy party vibes. And like those bands, the Catch have a great ear for a tune.

"Wait" goes from the tension building verse bits into the short, sharp and punchy bounce-around-the-room chorus. "Between Friends" has nifty little white-girl funky breakdowns between verses that sound strangely at home in their punky surroundings. "All About Me" cribs some of it's melody from Buddy Holly, than takes some words from... Doris Day? "I'm gonna wash that man right out of my hair…" Oh, wait... "I'm gonna take my hips to a man who cares…" sorry, that's PJ Harvey. Carly puts her sexy on for "Nice," almost moaned rather than sung, with an almost predatory Guyville-era Liz Phair flavor. De-licious, and my favorite. The album ends with "After Party," which sounds just like, well, an after party: a little messy and a lot of fun. (The CD also includes the "After Party" video, where you can play Spot-Your-Favorite-Seattle-Indie-Rocker. Good times, good times...)

In the end, the Catch does a great job ignoring that line between punk and noo-wave, creating a sound that would appeal to mainstream pop-punk fans, guitar-pop fans, old school power poppers… just about anyone who likes any kind of pop music. Highly recommended for a good time!

read it here:

Show Review
by Char
The Catch: an adjective used by mothers everywhere. "OHH, you should date Herbert, he's such a CATCH!" Which basically means Herbert makes oodles of money and would never allow his mother in law to be sent to a home when she becomes incapable of figuring out which colored pill gets swallowed at what time of day. I assume the saying is a progeny of "Honey, there's more fish in the sea." As if dating was a sporting event where you go home with a string of freshy gutted meat or you end your day empty handed and hungry. I'm not certain if this was an intentional interpretation of the band's name, but seems logical because their combination of style, sexiness, talent and attitude make them all quite the catch.

It's also one of those catch phrases {pun, intended} I want to get back into current day circulation. "Dreamy" "swoony" and "swell" are also on my list. Kudos to the Catch for unwittingly helping me restore kitschy sayings from yeste - Get Cool Review

by Kate Silver
Get Cool (Made in Mexico), from Seattle's the Catch, is a breeze of top-down, ride-around new-wave pop. But before you turn on the space heater and whistle "Vacation," hear Carly Nicklaus's grrrly howl, indeed coy enough to invoke Belinda Carlisle & Co. but also palpable enough to crunch the keyboards. Caught between rock 'n' roll and a hard place, she sings, "I need you now/What a frightening thing to say," on the start-stop "Between Friends." The Catch's relationship songs bear enough bite to make you want to stomp out the melodies, too. Listening to the backing "ya-ya"s, it's apparent the Catch are a girls'-night-out kind of band with a mix frisky enough to dance to (Nicklaus knows a thing or two about moving a crowd as a member of love-pop dance band U.S.E). With headliners Melodious Owl and openers Dolour. 21+. $7. 8:00 p.m.

read it here:
- Get Cool Review and Show Preview

by George Koroneos
It's too easy to pass The Catch off as a second rate Donnas, but that would be a cop out. This quartet of perky, tattooed, hotties transcends the girl punk minefield with a selection rockin' ditties that are simple, fun and nowhere near as monotonous as some of today's pop-punkers.

"Nothin' But Time" kicks things off a raunchy foot stomping rocker that makes the best of only a few chords and an awesome bass line. Things go pop with the Go-Go's style "Wait" and "True Romance," before dragging out some catchy as all get out organs on "Hofmeister." The vocals are sweet and innocent a la a young Juliana Hatfield, but the music is far more scattershot, switching between aggressive and quirky at the drop of a dime.

The Catch are a fun, hand clapping, sing-along, rock band that bring a smile to the face of just about any jaded rock critic. It also helps that they are really cute.

read it here:
- Get Cool Review

(Rating: 5)
The Catch is a new all girl group consisting of Carly Nicklaus (vocals, guitar), Amy Rockwell (keyboards), Jenny Jimenez (bass), and Alissa Newton (drums). Made in Mexico is one of those outstanding underground labels that you can always trust. If a band is on Made In Mexico, you can bet that they're worth checking out. The Catch play loud upbeat pop music in the vein of bands like The Go-Go's, The Muffs, and Fuzzy. The band has already caught on in a big way in the Pacific Northwest. Some folks may already be familiar with Nicklaus as she also plays in the band United State of Electronica (U.S.E.). Get Cool is the first full-length from The Catch. The album features ten catchy upbeat tunes that combine the best elements of early punk and new wave into a modern concoction that is easy on the ears. Despite the fact that these ladies are playing a style of music played by hundreds of other bands...their songs have that certain something that sets them apart from the pack. Overall, this is a really fun album that puts the listener in a good frame of mind. Killer pop tunes include "Wait," "Hofmeister," "Empty Your Pockets," and "After Party."

read it here:
- Get Cool Review

by Audra Schroeder
Cute Girl Group Alert: Seattle’s Catch is the latest caffeinated export from the Pacific Northwest, and their newest album, Get Cool, is tweaked-out pop you can dance to. On songs like “Empty Your Pockets” and “After Party,” the quartet assumes a girl-gang mentality, pounding out song after song about boys, booze, and breakups like the Runaways but with better hair. Labelmates Dolour revive the rock with songs from their latest, New Old Friends.

read it here:
- Get Cool Review and Show Preview

by Dan Halligan
While I’ve heard the Catch compared to the Go-Go’s, I think it’s mostly because they are an all-girl pop band with punk roots. I personally hear more Björk than Belinda in Carly Jean Nicklaus’ vocals. She’s definitely got a unique (and great!) bratty edge to her singing, and along with the band’s sound, it’s hard to not be reminded of the Fastbacks when listening to the Catch’s debut album “Get Cool” on Made in Mexico Records. The album features a kick-ass mix of twisted pop and catchy rock. Normally, slow songs bore the fuck out of me, but on “Nice” and “Hofmeister” the Catch draw out the music perfectly. And on the driving songs this band knows how to bring on the fucking party. ...this is a great fucking album; the Catch has come a long way in just a couple years and seems on the verge of bustin’ out.

read it here:
- Get Cool Review

by Brian J. Barr
4 out of 4 stars!
You know the group of women chatting intimately over cocktails in a crowded bar-the ones you can't help but eavesdrop on, because their animated gossip session makes it clear they're talking about broken hearts? The Catch capture the mood of that clique, but they take the dishing a step further, delivering it in the form of pop songs packed with power chords, handclaps, and pep-rally cheers. Get Cool, the Seattle band's debut, bounces and bops as if it were recorded on a trampoline. Vocalist Carly Jean Nicklaus wails in a style somewhere between a tame Björk and Visqueen's Rachel Flotard, while keyboardist Amy Rockwell's shimmering new-wave licks mirror the girl-club fun of the Go-Gos' Beauty and the Beat. Each number is sharp and punchy, thanks in no small part to producer Erik Blood, who tosses light fuzz in the mix for added 'tude. Make no mistake, the Catch are both sassy and concerned with feminine empowerment, but they are also a pop band at heart. When Nicklaus sings, "I'm gonna wash that man right outta my hair," on "All About Me," it's obvious they're interested in enjoying their femininity more than dismantling the establishment. Essentially, Get Cool is a Saturday-night-out album that succeeds in being angsty ("Nothin' but Time"), sexy ("Nice"), and silly ("All About Me"), all while successfully striking a musical balance between late '70s New York and early '80s Los Angeles.

read it here:
- Get Cool Review

Just Try Not To Bounce Around, I Dare You
by Paige Newman
More than anything else, Carly Nicklaus from the Catch wants you to know that the band is about having fun. And she should know; she spoke to me from the fourth hot tub she and the band have found themselves in since they started their tour. These women rock hard, so it’s only right that they indulge in a little R&R.

On the Catch's debut album, the aptly named “Get Cool,” the band wants you to know that if you haven't heard of them yet, you will. They’ve been compared to everyone from the Go Go’s to The Ramones — and actually both descriptions fit. The four members rock, but also have a flirtatious poppy quality. It’s hard to listen to them without moving around, which is what makes the Go Go’s comparison so right on — I did the same thing to “Beauty and the Beat,” the difference was I was 12. Lacking the self consciousness of a lot of bands playing today, the Catch's cool retro feel is like something you might have found on a mix tape from your best friend in 1983.

Let’s face it, feisty, sassy women rule. The opening track of the CD, “Nothin’ But Time” has this awesome, “yeah, I’m fine without you and maybe if I keep saying it over and over it will actually be true” vibe. While you’re dancing, you can just shake your head, laugh and say, “I’ve done that. Um, yeah, and that. And, that, too.” Even the angst on this CD is fun.

Heck, there are even hand claps on the song, “Between Friends,” which has a great, “Hey, buddy, I love you — why don’t you give me a chance” kind of a vibe. “Let me be different,” Nicklaus sings. “Let me try / Let me love you, don’t ask why.”

The Catch has some great loopy keyboard work from Amy Rockwell, and Jenny Jimenez brings everything together with her bass grooves.

And you can’t argue with drummer Alissa Newton’s teasing “nah, nah, nah, nah, nahs” in the song “Empty My Pockets.” It’s very hard to listen to this one without joining in on those backing vocals. This is a great song about a girl who’s seeing a guy who has a long-distance girlfriend; it has a great, slightly bratty, “Hey, don’t judge me” kind of feel. “Because when she’s out of town,” Nicklaus sings, “I’ll still be around.”

Nicklaus said that she and the others don’t have some grand plan mapped out about conquering the music world. “We just make music,” Nicklaus says, with a modesty that belies the band’s talent. She and the band had planned to put out the record themselves, but were happy to find a home at Made in Mexico Records, which Nicklaus says, “feels like a family.”

They count The Pale, Aqueduct, USE (a band Nicklaus also plays in) and The Divorce as some of the bands they’d like to play with. “We have this dream of doing a big festival with all our friends,” Nicklaus says.

Um, can someone out there please put that together?

read it here:
- Get Cool Review and Interview


--Get Cool (Made in Mexico Records, 2005)

--The Catch EP (self-released, 2004)

--Watch the music video for Afterparty!


Feeling a bit camera shy


The Catch is a four piece sass-attack. Described in press as “the Cardigans meets the Ramones” and drawing comparisons to the Go-Gos, The Runaways, Sleater-Kinney, Bikini Kill, Josie and the Pussycats, and even Pat Benatar, these four girls deliver the perfect combination of sweet, sexy, and sometimes bratty rock with new-wavy pop hooks you can't get out of your head. "Flaunting a rare femininity that combines unaffected flirtation with a coy toughness, they are the band equivalent to that confident kind of woman who holds the room's attention without seeking anyone's approval," says Kathleen Wilson of The Stranger.

The Catch has gained recognition in the Pacific Northwest, playing with bands such as Death Cab for Cutie, Nada Surf, Aqueduct, USE, The Bangs, British Sea Power, the Thermals, and many more. They recently returned from a successful West Coast tour with United State of Electronica (USE). Nicklaus, whose voice has been compared to a young Bjork, also lends her vocals and commanding stage presence to USE.

Having self-released a three-song EP in June 2004, The Catch recently finished a full-length with Erik Blood (Turn Ons, The Lights) and Cameron Nicklaus (The Pale) was released on Made in Mexico Records in May 2005.

You are bound to develop a high-school crush on this band.