A rose by any other name is still a rose. So what’s in a name? For Catch Wild, the rose is their front girl, Jessica Rose, and a name is their entire identity. It serves as a perfect description for their sound: catchy enough to break through to modern mainstream radio but wild enough to set them apart as unique. “Catch Wild” also represents the evolution of the band. In 2009, initially as an acoustic duo, Jessica Rose (lead vocals and guitar) and Doug Atkins (lead guitar and backing vocals) began writing and performing under Jessica’s name. Realizing that their influences and natural talents were emerging and urging them to rock harder, the pair joined up with Eric “Swinny” Swiontkowki on bass and Shawn Fichtner on drums the following spring. This powerful rhythm section brought the group to their current pop-infused rock sound, fronted by Rose, and they were reborn as Catch Wild.
In 2010, the band was chosen by The Dream and Fuse DJ, Allison Hagendorf as “Best Act” in VH1’s Break ‘N Through undiscovered talent competition, a benefit for the VH1 Save The Music Foundation. This experience was a catalyst for the band, introducing their music to hundreds of people who were quick to embrace it.
Those devoted fans were an integral part of Catch Wild’s move forward to record their debut album. Funded by a Kickstarter campaign which raised $5,000, the band recorded and mixed the album in two weeks, working 11 hour days. The result is Waking Up With Fire, a collection of seven songs showcasing the writing of Rose and Atkins and the strong musicianship of all the band members. Swiontkowski and Fichtner lock in and drive the high energy sound behind the band’s music through impressive guitar work that thrives and dances around Rose’s voice. This style has resulted in the comparison of Catch Wild to a few other female oriented rock bands of recent years, such as Paramore and Damone. Influences like Joan Jett, Letters to Cleo and Heart are also apparent, as Catch Wild brings listeners back to the days when rock was more prevalent. Where Catch Wild is concerned, guitars and honest songwriting rule supreme over pop production and use of the auto-tune, a mainstay of most recent releases.
“Star,” the first single from Waking Up With Fire, is a high voltage debut aimed at crooked record executives and Rose’s experience with them. Though the lyrics suggest, “I was gonna be a star,” it seems obvious from the music quality and reactions of the audience that the more accurate lyrics would be, “I AM gonna be a star.” This and the additional songs on Catch Wild’s first album explore themes of building a life, struggling for success, searching for love and fighting to hold on to that love. In “Hurricane,” Rose declares, “I can be your superhero.” For many fans, that statement is already true. Girls want to be her and guys want to be with her. She is strong, independent, beautiful, and badass. And so is her band.
Catch Wild released their first album on June 5, and the album streamed live on AOL for the entire week. After hearing the CD, Jersey Beat’s Joe Wawrzyniak summed up the band and its sound as “…fiercely invigorated pop-rock music…indeed both wild and catchy in comparable measure, with an amazing headlong rush of pure surging energy and a potent grasp of consummate musicianship both ensuring that this dynamic darling delivers the rousing goods something sweet.”
Well said, Joe.
Originally published June 19, 2012 on NewYorkSocialStatus.com