I became aware of Catch 22 at the Reading Festival in 1999 when a guy was selling a punk/ska fanzine with a Victory Records sampler CD included. The CD had the title track Keasbey Nights on and it totally blew me away. I had heard things like the Mighty Mighty Bosstones before, but Catch 22 are harder, faster and as a band, tighter.
Musically, the band are superb. Both the guitars and bass are very strong but equally tuneful. The C22 bassist plays in a similar style to the bassist from Rancid, walking basslines and very fast picking. The drummer is amazing, very fast and some truly wonderful fills. Catch 22 play fast ska/punk with a wonderful horn section to back them up. The horn section, in my opinion, completely steal the show. Carefully placed throughout the songs, there is a saxaphone, a trombone and a trumpet to add to a melodic and almost soulful sound! Each song is simply a work of genius. Play this album and you will smile, the lyrics are touching, honest and amusing!
If you are a musician you will pick up your instrument and play along. I simply cannot rate this album high enough. I have recommended it to almost everyone I know and each person has then recommened it to their friends. Its simply wonderful, the perfect album to accompany you on a long drive in the night.
There are other ska/punk bands out there, many are much more well known than Catch 22 but somehow being famous like the Mighty Mighty Bosstones or No Doubt would ruin the beauty of the record. It is the best debut album ever. There really is no question about it!