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

February 18, 2012, 12:16 pm
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US 8″ x 10″ promotional black & white publicity photograph featuring a great image of an early Trashcan Sinatras line-up: (Left to right; John Douglas, George McDaid, Paul Livingston, Stephen Douglas and Frank Reader).

This photograph, taken by Paul Cox, was used to promote the band during the Cake era.

1990 Polygram / Go! Discs / London Recordings

Back To Health
February 10, 2012, 10:39 am
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Another album, another magazine, another review – Weightlifting + Mojo = 4 stars. Back to health indeed.

Here’s MOJO Magazine’s James McNair’s 4-star review…

Long straight-jacketed by bankruptcy and record company sub-clauses, Ayrshire’s Sinatras emerge butterfly-like on their own label with a filler-less cracker. Strident opener Welcome Back aside, it pitches up somewhere between Aztec Camera’s Stray and Prefab Sprout’s Andromeda Heights. Band linchpin Frank Reader, brother of Eddi, is especially affecting on the heartbreak of caring divorce (witness A Coda, sung with all the melting class of a young Art Garfunkel), while Trouble Sleeping manages to tackle child murder in the band’s hometown with sensitivity, its harmonica solo delicately elegiac. With Teenage Fanclub’s Norman Blake guesting on the equally touching Got Carried Away, and exemplary jangler Freetime proving that hope really does spring eternal, Weightlifting gives and gives. Tender, wise, compassionate and magnanimous, it’s a special, special record for anyone who has ever hurt. James McNair

MOJO Magazine Issue 133 December 2004

Word Up
February 8, 2012, 7:42 pm
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Here’s a review of the Trashcans’ fourth long player, ‘Weightlifting’ from the November issue of UK music magazine the Word.

The Trashcan Sinatras are Scotland’s great lost band. In the early mid-’90s they released three albums on Go! Discs. Cake, I’ve Seen Everything and A Happy Pocket are sparkling collections of the ‘jangly’ pop that loads of Jock bands try to do, but hardly any manage with the melodic grace, instrumental imagination and lyrical rigour of this Ayrshire five-piece. They never cared much for the comparison but a good marker was early Aztec Camera, especially in the lilting athleticism of Frank (brother of Eddi) Reader’s vocals.

Then stuff – label hassles, the taxman, booze – got in the way, and the Trashcans drifted off. Now, buoyed by healthy internet enthusiasm and a significant cult following in America and Japan, they’re back. True to form, Weightlifting is a work of unshowy genius. Recorded in Glasgow and Connecticut, the production elegantly layers guitars and orchestrates dreamy soundscapes. All The Dark Horses, for instance, is folksy gem worthy of pastoral ’60s troubadours. What Women Do To Men is a sigh of a song, its textures as existentially stirring as the lyrical subject matter.

Sticking with the heavy stuff, Trouble Sleeping is an unsettlingly gorgeous number, the keyboards and guitars exquisitely arranged, about a child murder in the band’s home town. More chipper are It’s A Miracle (lovely strings) and the opening Welcome Back (charging riffs), instant pop belters both. Finally, the closing title track is a drifting, quietly motivating, positive lament (if such a thing can exist). It’s a hand round the shoulders, a word of encouragement, a little lift from a mate. Craig McLean

This edition of the magazine came with a free sampler CD which included the track Weightlifting. More info on the CD can be found in this earlier post.

The Word Issue 21 November 2004

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