FAME Review: The Catbirds - Catbirds Say Yeah
The Catbirds - Catbirds Say Yeah

Catbirds Say Yeah

The Catbirds

Iddy Biddy Records - 7678

Available from Chandler's World.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker

The growingly ubiquitous Chandler Travis, he of the Chandler Travis Three-O (here) and Chandler Travis Philharmonic (not to mention the whole back history), decided to get a lot more raw at some point, putting together The Catbirds, a throwback group and disc yanking the rock backlash movement in the 70s (Stooges and such) forward into proto-punk (Tom Robinson, Radio Birdman, other bad boys) thence into Byrdsy post-punk (listen to the title cut for that ringing oversoul) and back again, melding what came out of the Igster's and the Kinks' days but without the over-amplification, heavy but not by way of mega-distortion.

Face it, a good deal of early 60s rock was boneheadery a la the later Ramones. That was part of what was attractive: simple chords, simple changes, easy sing-along lyrics and melodies, anthemic melodies, short leads, brief songs, to the point exposition, and a lot of rebellion. Punk wasn't exactly a hotbed of sophistication—that came only after the whole movement rapidly collapsed, making the hippie era it scorned look like the Golden Age of Rome in comparison—and neither was much of all that early rock, though it evolved very rapidly. I'm not sure who's playing or singing in any given cut here—three of the members all play guitar and vocalize—but the entire disc is homogenous, so it doesn't matter.

Hell, this may even be a form of satire for all I know, Pajama Pants Baby, a way bitchin' song, would sure indicate that, 'cause mockery is oft just as valid as wallowing in modal clichés, the two being almost the same thing, but don't come from the Chandler Travis Three-O looking to find the same eclectic progressive mellifluities and such or you'll be in for a bit of a shock. This is headbangery that avoids the satanic (too damn much work getting that intense), hangs at the back of the bar, works up as much a release as a 5-mile run, and then sends out for pizza to work off the alcohol.

Track List:

  • All I Wanna Know Is (Chandler Travis)
  • Don't Say No (Chandler Travis)
  • Catbirds Say Yeah (Travis / Greenberger)
  • Stoned (Steve Wood)
  • Red Red (Dinty Child)
  • Changing Names (Travis / Greenberger)
  • I'm Only You (Chandler Travis)
  • All I Wanna Do Is Love You (Chandler Travis)
  • Who's Sorry Now (Child / Kirk)
  • The Crutch of Music (Chandler / Greenberger)
  • Pajama Pants Baby (Labonne)
  • Leaving Here (Holland / Dozier / Holland)

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2013, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
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