Lighthearted, good-humored acoustic rock is a surprisingly dangerous genre to mess with: It's all too easy to sail off the edge into shtick. Thankfully, despite the silly name, there's more Violent Femmes in the form of undeniably strong pop songwriting and genuinely witty lyrics with Band Called Catch than there is shameless shucking and jiving a la, say, the Barenaked Ladies. Witness "Girl Gone Wild," the first track on the band's Web site, www.myspace.com/bandcalledcatch.
"She said you should do anything to be a rock star/Because I'd do anything to be a porno star," guitarist, vocalist and bandleader Tim Frank sings. "She took all of her clothes off for one of them free T-shirts/And look at her now, look at her now, look at her now/Her father must be proud."
Formed by Frank in early 2008 and completed by bassist Blake Wells, lead guitarist Doug Waxman, drummer Eli P and the honey-voiced backing vocalist Jessica Lyons, Band Called Catch can't be faulted for a lack of productivity: In its short time together, it's written a handful of songs as memorable as "Girl Gone Wild" (including "Far Away Girl" and "Riccis Girl") and filmed an impressively edited and very Chicago-centric video for "Green Light."
The group will be marking its one-year anniversary on Friday, Jan. 30, with a show at the Elbo Room, 2871 N. Lincoln. (The cover is $9.) Help these funny folkies celebrate, and cheer 'em on to another 365 days as tuneful as the ones just passed.