Kitty and the Kowalskis is/was a female-fronted punk rock band from New York, NY. The band endured many line-up changes, over the years, but, at its core, is founding member Lindsey Anderson (aka Kitty Kowalski). Kitty and the Kowalskis began in 1994 as Killer Kowalski. They opened for Iggy Pop in 1995, and released their debut 7″ in 1996. But, in 1997, professional wrestler Killer Kowalski forced them, legally, to change their name to The Kowalskis. Their debut album, All Hopped Up on Goofballs, was released in 1999, after Kitty’s club, Coney Island High (which she co-owned), closed. Their second album, Chinese Democracy, wasn’t released until 2005 (under the name Kitty and the Kowalskis), after several more line-up changes. The album’s title (taken from the long-delayed Guns N’ Roses album) was an obvious reflection of Kitty’s frustrations over those 5 years. Kitty and the Kowalskis were modern purveyors of the classic ’70s punk sound popularized by New York punk bands like the Ramones, Blondie, and The Dictators. But, Kitty also loves ’80s punk band the Descendents.
Despite the difference in years between the band’s two album’s, both All Hopped Up on Goofballs and Chinese Democracy are not that far apart offering three chords and plenty of hooks, except that the latter serves up more Ramones love. “100% Fun” and “Career Barbie” are my favorite tracks from Goofballs, but, their cover of Devo‘s “Uncontrollable Urge” is cool, too. “Ain’t No Saint”, “I Love You Baby But I Hate Your Friends” and “Depression Overdrive” are my favorites from Chinese Democracy. And, “I Wanna (Joey’s Song)” and “Oh Dee Dee” are cool tributes to the founding fathers: Joey Ramone who died in 2001, and Dee Dee Ramone who died in 2002. But, an added bonus, on Chinese Democracy, is a cover of The Undertones‘ “Get Over You”, which is one of my (many) favorite songs!
Watch Kitty and the Kowalskis perform “Ain’t No Saint” live here:
1999 – All Hopped Up on Goofballs (as The Kowalskis) [Album]
2005 – Chinese Democracy [Album]