The Seattle influence is very plain on this CD.
So far, I have had the chance to listen to a wide range of Jim Jacobi’s music. As I have mentioned in previous reviews, Jim has been a fairly prolific artist. His career began back in the late 70’s with a band called The Crap Detectors; he released several recordings with that band, though the band’s personnel changed frequently. The home location also changed several times as well, so you find different flavors depending on the people involved and the places they were at. At the core, though, Jim Jacobi is the same guy that he was when he began his career. He is a guitarist, singer, artist, and lyricist. He approaches his music today with the same no-nonsense attitude he had in the 70’s, and that is the fact that makes his band, whether it be the Joe Jakimbi Band, or The Crap Detectors, something worth listening to. He is the glue that holds it together, and the inspiration and motivation for the music.
The CD Cat Patrol is, I believe, the last recording that Jim made as The Crap Detectors. It was recorded in Seattle, and features accompanying musicians Mindy Barret and Andrea Burgess. I must say that I like the combination of these three musicians. The female vocals add a different flavor, and the input of a female voice in the songwriting also broadens the horizons. The songs are still socially conscious, not in the sense that you are encouraged to recycle or save the rain forest, but in the sense that they deal with everyday life situations; the shadier side of everyday life situations, to be more specific. With the ladies involved in the songwriting on this CD, you get to see a different aspect of the shady side! The title song “Cat Patrol” is a great example of this. Listen to the lyrics, and you’ll hear the frustrations of a woman being bothered by the Cat Patrol! It makes total sense in the grand scheme of The Crap Detectors! Other songs are influenced by Mindy and Andrea, but none have the feminine flavor of “Cat Patrol”. The others are primarily the viewpoint of musicians in Seattle.
The Seattle influence is very plain on this CD. Some bands shaped their sound based on what was coming out of Seattle in the 90’s; The Crap Detectors were shaped by the Seattle experience, but not in the way that the Stone Temple Pilots or other grunge bands were. The songs “Earthquake in Seattle”, “Band in Seattle” and “Corporate America” deal with the frustration that The Crap Detectors must have felt with bands in Seattle, and with big companies like Microsoft being headquartered there. One line in particular stood out in “Earthquake”; it says that after the earthquake, there are no more “fake rock stars” or “computer geeks”! Hey! Wait a minute! Now you’re stepping on my toes! What’s the matter with computer geeks?
The songs here are very cheeky songs; “Social Pariah” is a song about a guy that nobody wants at their parties because he is having too much fun. “Glue in Suburbia” is a look at the irony of successful families with messed up kids, “Huffing Glue in Suburbia”. In fact, the first part of the album is a very tongue-in-cheek look at many different things. “Smile before they Strike” is perhaps the pop-i-est song on the CD, while “All Humans are Animals” is perhaps the least! As different as they are, though, they fit together on a The Crap Detectors album, because they are social commentaries! Jim always seems to manage to include a song about a crazy love interest as well; on this release, it’s the song “Eyes”. “Deprogramming Time is Now” and “Agents of Change” are songs about the way that we are programmed to believe certain facts and how we are led to find certain conclusions.
Not every song on this CD is a great song, but all are good! Some I don’t particularly identify with, and some I perhaps even disagree with. I’m not totally cynical yet; that day may come, but until then, I’m going to enjoy the album for what it is: Another chapter in the life of Jim Jacobi. I may not always agree, but I will be entertained! That is for sure!
This particular release is a good one to have in your collection. Jim’s guitar playing is very consistent, and along with the content of his songs, anchors the sound of his bands through the years. At times, this CD comes off with a New Wave feel, primarily due to the female vocals and the very pop-like sound of some of the songs. I enjoyed hearing it, and I do look forward to hearing other releases from Jim Jacobi! If you haven’t picked up any of his releases yet, shame on you! This is must-hear stuff!--Mark Lush, Midwestbands.com, 6/19/03