Five Hungry Joes – A pictorial archive of the Trashcan Sinatras. Legendary Scottish Band

“…You Cannae Beat A Rickenbacker…”
May 10, 2009, 7:09 pm
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I’ll take their word for it.

This double CD compilation from Polygram Records was a showcase for bands on their roster at the time. Including The La’s, The Fall, Buffalo Tom, James, The Wonder Stuff and the Trashcan Sinatras.

Two tracks from debut album ‘Cake’ are included – ‘Obscurity Knocks’ and ‘January’s Little Joke’ – with the accompanying booklet giving a brief rundown on each band.

yes_03yes_01yes_06yes_04Here’s what the booklet says…

“You cannae beat a Rickenbacker”. Particularly when lush layers of them, strumming and chiming, are linked with pure old-fashioned melodies, harmonies and sharp, insightful lyrics. In an age of beat-box bandits and re-mixmeisters, The Trash Can Sinatras are like a breath of fresh air after too much time in the smog.

From Irvine, on the west coast of Scotland, The Trash Can Sinatras embrace the rich tradition of Scottish guitar pop, from Orange Juice to Aztec Camera and (early) Del Amitri. Other comparisons are always inevitable and Britain’s New Musical Express, while naming the TCS’s debut single “Obscurity Knocks” Single Of The Week in March ’90, perhaps said it best, proclaiming “Aztec Camera, The Housemartins, The Smiths, The La’s – all very special groups, and now you can listen to them all at once! Perfect. Crystalline. Divine. Confident…”

As The Trash Can Sinatras, Frank Read (vocals), John Douglas (guitar), Paul Livingstone (guitar), George McDaid (bass) and Stephen Douglas (drums), emerged in 1988 as a covers band, but wisely decided to pursue their own creations. The result, fresh from their own Shabby Road studio in Kilmarnock, is ‘Cake’, an accomplished album of clarity, charm and naturalism, gently crafted by John Leckie (Stone Roses, The Lilac Time), Roger Béchirian (Elvis Costello) and the band.

“Obscurity Knocks”, with its propulsive urgency and three part vocal magic, opens the album with a spark that remains bright through the course of the record to the closing song, “January’s Little Joke”, a sweeping finale in which dense effects are used to communicate a vivid feeling of small-town claustrophobia, and such inspired wordplay as “I knew what embarrass meant, but I never found out what achieve meant”. This ‘Cake’ is a sweet treat. Dig in.

yes_05yes_07yes_021990 Polygram Records Inc/Mercury 878 335-2 (Canada)

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