On the verge of stardom: Catch 22

Michelle Faust

If you like the groups Less Than Jake and Reel Big Fish you’ll love the N.J. ska band Catch 22. Catch 22 have a unique sound they get by using instruments such as the trombone, saxophone and trumpet in their songs. Members of Catch 22 came together in East Brunswick, N.J., and although success came quickly for them, they weren’t an overnight sensation.

Catch 22 was formed in 1996 after three of the members met in a record store and decided to form a group. Soon after they acquired their fellow band mates and started playing local shows. Catch 22 gained a large fan base. Their demo “Rules of the Game” sold 2,000 copies.

After seeing how well their demo had done, they sent it out to every small, independent label they knew. Unlike most bands trying to get a record deal, Catch 22 actually got a call back. In 1997, they were signed by Victory Records, which also contracts the bands Taking Back Sunday and The Reunion Show. Catch 22 was the first ska band signed by Victory Records, and before they knew it, their first CD “Keasbey Nights” was released in 1998.

Catch 22 experienced one minor setback after they went on tour promoting “Keasbey Nights” after front-man Tomas Kalnoky left the band to attend college. Surprisingly, the band gathered some local New Jersey musicians, made some switches in the band and quickly returned to touring. They were a complete group again and with the release of their CD “Washed Up!” in 1999 they proved they were still on top of the ska music scene. Since then, they have released a third CD “Alone in a Crowd” and have made two music videos. Unfortunately, their videos are rarely if ever seen on MTV.

Catch 22 played last week at New Haven’s Toads Place with supporting bands Boys Night Out and Worthless United. If you couldn’t attend the concert and want to hear Catch 22 play new music, you won’t have to wait too long, as their new album, “Dinosaur Sounds,” hits stores on Nov. 4.