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

Word Up
February 8, 2012, 7:42 pm
Filed under: Press | Tags: , , ,

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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