Cats In Boots

This short-lived Japanese-American group was formed when guitarist Takashi ‘Jam’ Ohashi and bass player Yasuhiro ‘Butch’ Hatae, of the successful Tokyo-based band Seiki Matsu, recruited vocalist Joel Ellis, a native of Cleveland, Ohio, and drummer Randy Meers, originally from Houston, Texas, from the remains of Los Angeles-based Merry Hoax. The American members relocated to Tokyo to record demos, and these tapes were released as a mini-album that shot to number 1 on the Japanese indie chart. The resultant interest instigated the quartet’s signing to EMI Records. The Mark Opitz-produced Kicked And Klawed was a raucous and thoroughly enjoyable debut, with the band’s raw, trashy hard rock drawing comparisons with Mötley Crüe, Aerosmith and Vain, and was a huge success in Japan, reaching number 3. However, despite great reviews and considerable MTV airplay, album sales were only moderate elsewhere, and with the almost simultaneous loss of both Ellis and their recording contract, Cats In Boots disintegrated.

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