Chainsaw Kittens

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Chainsaw Kittens
Origin Norman, Oklahoma
Genres alternative rock, glam rock
Years active 1989–2000
Labels Mammoth, Atlantic, Echostatic, Spacebaby, Mercury, Scratchie, Four Alarm
Associated acts Defenestration
Members Tyson Meade
Trent Bell
Matt Johnson
Eric Harmon
Past members Mark Metzger
Clint McBay
Aaron Preston
Kevin McElhaney
Ted Leader

The Chainsaw Kittens were a part of the American alternative rock scene, drawing from pop, glam rock, punk, new wave and British Invasion music.[1][2][3] Their lyrics tackled such varied topics as religion, the Stonewall Riots, Federico Fellini, Oklahoma, Erik Menendez, and Oscar Wilde.[1][2]

Based in Norman, Oklahoma, its name a reference to the band members' youth and "chainsaw guitar sound",[4] the Chainsaw Kittens were active from 1989 to 2000.[1] Debuting with a sound described 1991 SPIN review as "The Smiths meet the New York Dolls meet the devil",[5] the group gained attention with "thrift-store transvestism," which it abandoned when the look "started to overshadow the music."[4] The band underwent several personnel changes,[3] but maintained the presence of principal singer/songwriter Tyson Meade, previously of Norman alt-rock outfit Defenestration, and guitarist/producer Trent Bell.[1][2][3]

Though the Kittens saw little commercial success during their period of activity, they have since won praise as "[a]rguably the best American band who never made it" in the '90s heyday of alternative rock.[1][2]

In the 1995 movie Empire Records, the character Mark, played by Ethan Embry, is wearing a "Chainsaw Kittens" t-shirt throughout the movie.

The band reunited for a performance at the Norman Music Festival in Norman, Oklahoma on April 26, 2008.[6]




  • High in High School (Mammoth, 1992)
  • Angel on the Range (Mammoth, 1993)
  • Candy for You (Scratchie, 1996)


  • "Mother (of the Ancient Birth)" b/w "Death-Sex Rattletrap" (Mammoth Records, 1990, MR 0019, Blue Vinyl)
  • "Lazy Little Dove" b/w "Extinction Stomp" (Echostatic/Spacebaby, 1995)
  • "Grandaddy's Candy" b/w "Bones in My Teeth" (Scratchie, 1996)



  1. ^ a b c d e Raggett, Ned. "Chainsaw Kittens Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 8 May 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d Sinclair, Tom. "Chainsaw Kittens". Trouser Press. Retrieved 5 May 2009. 
  3. ^ a b c Thompson, Dave (2000). Alternative Rock. Milwaukee,Wis.: Hal Leonard Corporation. pp. 248–249. ISBN 0-87930-607-6. 
  4. ^ a b Barsotti, Mark (3 March 1994). "The Kittens' Meow". Denver Westword. Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  5. ^ Greer, Jim (January 1991). "Chainsaw Kittens - Violent Religion". SPIN. Retrieved 8 May 2011. 
  6. ^ Triplett, Gene (30 April 2008). "Chainsaw Kittens reuniting". The Olkahoman. Retrieved 8 May 2011. 

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