The Punk Vault

The Alley Cats 1979-1982

Alley Cats CD

The Alley Cats – 1979-1982 CD/DVD
Time Coast Music

Any old time punk rocker and/or punk record collector will tell you they heard of The Alley Cats. They put out a 7″ on the legendary Dangerhouse Records label, a label that went down in history as releasing nothing but great punk records while the genre was still in its infancy. Every band on that label was unique, The Alley Cats being no exception. After their debut single, they sought greener pastures and released another 7″ on the Time Coast label, as well as a couple of LPs. Aside from the aforementioned singles, I never bothered to pick up anything else they released, thus I missed out on that stuff and never really knew what those records sounded like.  Now I know some of what I missed out on, and I’m sorry it took me so long to find out!

The CD portion of this package contains ten songs, most of which I believe came from their Nightmare City LP. While the music on here was a bit more accessible than their first two singles, it really isn’t that big of a leap in sound, thus the music still has packs a pretty good punch and really sounds like a natural evolution from those early singles, while still retaining enough of that sound to appeal to fans of those singles. I was really surprised by how enjoyable I found the songs on here, I was half expecting this stuff to be really tame and instead I feel like I just unearthed a buried treasure. Why this stuff never became a lot more popular back when it was released is a mystery to me, it is just different enough to be “cool” and just accessible enough that it would have fit in alongside the more popular “new wave” acts of the time.

What you won’t find on here is the Dangerhouse records single (“Nothing Means Nothing Anymore/Gimme a Little Pain”, nor the Time Coast follow up (“Too Much Junk”), why the latter single was omitted is a mystery to me, it was on the same label as this stuff. Perhaps there will be a follow up collection someday that contains the rest of The Alley Cats material.

The bonus DVD contains five promotional type videos of “It Only Hurts the First Time”, “Today”, Night of the Living Dead” (two versions), and “Escape from the Planet Earth”. The footage for all of these videos came from the same source so they tend to look pretty much the same but the quality is excellent and it was really cool to see some early footage of this band to go along with the already great CD.

As a big proponent of old punk rock music getting reissued so the current generation can hear what they missed and old timers can revisit it without shelling out the big bucks, I heartily endorse this nice package and the CD portion of this release is going to be getting repeated listens for quite some time in the immediate future.

Related links:

Time Coast Music

The Alley Cats myspace page 


  • I investigated a little and believe that this was put out by Dianne Chai, bassist for the Alley Cats, and singer Randy Stodola’s now ex-wife.

    • hey tom, what did you hear about dianne being involved with this? i heard something similar, but it was really vague. if there’s any word on her, i’d love to hear it. haven’t heard a damned thing about her since she left zarkons in 89.

  • I used to go see them… anyways they later changed their name to the Zarkons for some mysterious reason…don’t know if they changed their sound.

  • I saw them many times – one of LA’s hardest working bands who always put on a great show. Glad to see ‘cats stuff finally be reissued (though I tried unsuccessfully a few years ago myself!)

  • i saw the alley cats more times than i can remember. it seems they were always playing with someone else i went to see. never a disappointment though. they changed to “zardoz” later on, i had one of the two lp’s they put out with that name. supposedably they were gonna change an image and be a household name. it didn’t happen. but i’ll always remember the trio. more music out of these three than most larger groups. fantastic stuff, glad i have them all.

  • The Alley Cats were great. Wish they stuck it out longer. And the thought that Dianne Chai might be single makes me weak in the knees. Absolutely the sexiest woman in the history of rock or punk!


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