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The Catholic Girls
The Catholic Girls Are
- Gail Petersen (lead vocals/rhythm guitar)
- Roxy Andersen (lead guitar/backing vocals)
- Doreen Holmes (drums and percussion)
- and one guy, Steve Berger (bass)
Powerful rock with a wave/punk influence, strong pop melodies, pounding guitars, a driving beat and great vocals.
The Story Then...
The Catholic Girls were born when schoolgirls Gail Petersen and Roxy Andersen put their guitars together to form the first all-female band from New Jersey that would be signed to a major label. With Doreen Holmes on drums, The Catholic Girls released an album on MCA both in the USA and Australia as well as a special Armed Forces Edition. They embarked on 2 national tours, received widespread commercial airplay and debuted on MTV to the music of their new wave anthem, Boys Can Cry. Interesting fact; the band was scheduled to appear on Saturday Night Live but then were cancelled as they were deemed “too controversial” (at that time) simply because they wore parochial school uniforms on stage and rosary beads as necklaces!
In 1999, the original album was revived and released in CD format, and fans from the 80s were thrilled to have the girls in plaid back, as were many new fans they were making along the way. In 2002, the band released Make Me Believe as their first indie CD, embarked on a tri-state tour (NY/NJ/PA), opened for acts like Dave Davies of the Kinks, Gene Loves Jezebel and performed at The Knitting Factory in Hollywood and at The International Pop Overthrow Festival. The Asbury Park Music Awards nominated them for Top Rock Band of the Year and their video, Make Me Believe, reached the charts in Billboard. In 2004, their CD single, Summer Vacation/Rock’n America (a tribute to Joey Ramone) was released nationally followed by a full length CD, Meet the Catholic Girls. Both gained momentum with college and Web airplay and glowing reviews.
Meanwhile, the band made history in the 1/06/06 issue of Goldmine Magazine when their first 45 single, Boys Can Cry was selected by readers to be part of The Ultimate Rock'n Roll Jukebox (The Top 200 songs ever that must be included on any jukebox)! They were in good company on that list, which included The Beatles, The Stones, The Ramones and Blondie! Then, Little Steven saw them play live one night and instantly converted. Rock’n America was now played on a regular basis on his internationally syndicated radio show, The Underground Garage. It was later included on his Coolest Songs in the World, Vol. 7 CD. Bill Kelly, a long-time altar boy was also broadcasting the single on SiriusXM Satellite Radio, and Genya Ravan (SiriusXM Radio), featured CG songs on her shows, Goldie’s Garage and Chicks and Broads. Both songs additionally got airplay on hundreds of college, internet, and commercial radio such as WRAT, WNTI, WFMU, WPRB, WTSR, WDIY, Cyberstorm Radio, BlowUpRadio, iHeart Radio, Time Machine (with Michael McCartney) and This is Rock'n Roll Radio.
In 2012 the band released THE CATHOLIC GIRLS—EXPOSED with 13 tracks that included something for everyone: rock, pop, garage, blues and a ballad inspired by Alfred Hitchcock's film Rebecca. The CD was played by all their favorite stations including WFDU, Genya Ravan's show on SiriusXM Radio, Home Grown Radio and several stations in the UK and Australia. KISS ME ONE MORE TIME was released in 2015 and received glowing reviews in The Aquarian (Shoreworld—John Pfeiffer), Punk Globe Magazine, Steel Notes and more. With songs like the title track, Kiss Me One More Time, a blues rocker to the pop-flavored, Where’s the Logic (a tribute to Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock) and a girl-band anthem, Breaking All the Rules, the band once again received widespread airplay. They performed live at various clubs and festivals in NY, NJ and PA including an all acoustic show for the world-renowned Melanie Safka. That acoustic-only performance by the girls, along with continuous requests from fans, was partially responsible for what happened next.
Next... And Now
The Catholic Girls have just released a brand new CD — SOMEBODY BETTER GET A ROOM. It includes four recent studio recorded tunes. Don’t Cry is the explosive, rocking next chapter of Boys Can Cry (single from first major label album) complete with distorted guitar riffs plus the distinctive CG’s clean 8ths driving it forward about a “born again broken heart” who decides “I won’t cry, don’t you”. Somebody Better Get a Room is a catchy pop rock song with a Beatlesque opening and ending and beautiful vocal harmonies. It’s about physical attraction, the urgent drive toward what could be love – and the possible end of the world if the need is not fulfilled. Without a Country is a heart-wrenching ballad for our time and for all the ages. It revolves on multi-levels touching on the themes of true homelessness, the feeling of being a lost stranger in a strange, changing world, and the universal desire to find, or return to, where there is “no place like” — home. Plus, Gone, the pounding guitar and powerful vocal-driven rocker that explores the eternal question – Is it true that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone, especially when it comes to love? It features a Vocal Only opening, an orchestral lead break and a dramatic closing crescendo “I’m going, going… gone.” These four are followed by five songs that were recorded in Bordentown, NJ when the band performed the above mentioned in a rare “all acoustic” show with nothing more elaborate than a simple camera for a recording device. All these tunes are from previous albums complete with adlibs, a few missteps, some insider intros, a fabulous audience and absolutely NO post production alterations to the real, live, absolutely unedited performances. There was a time when The Catholic Girls set out to prove they could play with the boys—and this is now undisputed (in fact, they now even include a boy in the band). The Catholic Girls have proven conclusively with sheer power, unforgettable music, tenacity and iron-willed longevity, that again and again, they can break all the rules and rock the house with anyone, in any venue, any time, any place, anywhere!
Praise for The Catholic Girls
“The Catholic Girls also bring back a new ballad version of “God Made You.” The song, revisited from their MCA debut, was banned by the Archdiocese of Rhode Island back in the 1980s, and it offers a poignant and beautifully somber view of the tribulations of oppression and the everlasting loss of immortality and paradise. I wonder what the Archdiocese would have to say about this today. Guitars pick slowly, spinning and turning glistening layers of overtone and harmony as Petersen gives the vocal performance of her life.” —John Pfeiffer/Shorworld – The Aquarian
(Referencing “God Made You” – The Ballad)
"What makes Catholic Girls so much more satisfying is the guitar interplay between Gail Petersen and lead guitarist Roxy Andersen, interplay reminiscent of the chemistry that existed between Pretenders' Hynde and the late James Honeyman Scott. Then too, there's Petersen’s distinctive quivering vocals and her uncanny ability to devise both vocal and instrumental hooks." —Baltimore City Paper
“Kiss Me One More Time.” Delivered with a bluesy, “Black Velvet” sultry saunter, “Kiss Me One More Time” is definitive Catholic Girl material. Guitars rip with gnarly, tubeblazing brilliance as bass and drums pump and pulse rock steady direction for Petersen to wail."—John Pfeiffer/Shorworld – The Aquarian
(referncing “Kiss Me One More Time)
"Based out of New Jersey, these women know how to rock… this CD will not disappoint…" —Ginger Coyote, Punk Globe
"…the gals have lost none of their original lustre or spark… may just be the highlight of their long and somewhat illustrious career… this is a whole lot better than what the reformed Bangles and Go-Go’s have been up to recently." —Jeff Penczak, Terrascope
"…Decades before Britney Spears turned school girl uniforms into a scandalous pop sensation, the Catholic Girls were ripping up Jersey dives like the Dirt Club and playing coquettish punk-pop. They were on the cover of Jersey Beat #5 back in 1982, and at the time, I wrote, “Belinda Carlisle of the Go Go's may have the beat, but Catholic Girl Gail Petersen has more: Better songs, a more distinctive voice, a greater sense of herself in her lyrics, talent, and style… 30 years later… Petersen still has that distinctive plaintive yearning in her vocals, more womanly than girlish now but nonetheless affecting." —Jim Testa, Jersey Beat
"Not only is the album super up beat, fast paced, guitar driven, feel good music guaranteed to cheer you up, but The Catholic Girls themselves are tenacity incarnate. Their focus, and determination, not to mention talent, is inspiring." —TheHighCostOfFreeMusic.com