Trashcan Sinatras - I’ve Seen Everything Music Album Reviews

Trashcan Sinatras - I’ve Seen Everything Music Album Reviews
The beloved Glaswegian indie rock band reissues their 1993 sophomore album, a fan favorite, one that exemplifies the band’s communal songwriting and their indelible romanticism and pop instincts. 

Is there any indie rock band more lovable than the Trashcan Sinatras? There are of course bands that are beloved by more people, and bands who have been loved for longer. But the community that formed around this bookish, hermetic Glasgow group seems to transcend the standard relationship between fans and their favorite rock band, especially one whose brushes with the mainstream were so infrequent. The Trashcans’ still-perfect debut single in 1990 was called “Obscurity Knocks,” a fitting title for a band whose legacy would be carried, not to mention funded, directly by their own audience, long before the advent of Patreon and Bandcamp.

In the beginning, most critics discussed the Trashcans in the context of “the new Smiths,” and while their jangle-pop melodies and punny, sometimes melancholy lyrics do share a resemblance, the comparison was more to suggest this band could serve a similar purpose in your life: quote their lyrics like dialogue from a favorite film; sing along when you are at your lowest; devote yourself to scouring record shops for every import single and B-side; listen to their work and feel like it is purely your own—with no interference from the outside world.

The Trashcans’ second album, 1993’s I’ve Seen Everything, is generally the fan-favorite, and this new reissue, embellished with six excellent outtakes and a hardcover book titled The Perfect Reminder, is an ideal gateway. This is a specific type of album: If you are the kind of person who argues Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk over Rumours, or Neil Young’s Ditch Trilogy over After the Gold Rush, you will find the slapdash energy of these 14 songs to be instantly appealing. What you hear in these recordings is not the sound of lightning in a bottle but rather the wild, thrashing energy of a band trying to catch it, which makes those perfect moments when they do—the wordless chorus of “Earlies,” the trumpet-accompanied refrain of the title track—sound even more thrilling.

To follow their debut—1990’s Cake, 10 expertly crafted songs in under 40 minutes—the Trashcans established a new process that would span the rest of their career. Working at their in-house studio Shabby Road, they took their time, slowly amassing material among several primary songwriters within the group. There’s the de facto frontman, Frank Reader, whose expressive voice is one of the band’s defining features: It can be smooth and melodic, occasionally showing the bond with his sister, the folk singer Eddi Reader. Or it can carry the rough edge of Paul Westerberg, giving a sense that he might sound prettier on a day when he wasn’t so broken up about things.

The other members—guitarists John Douglas, with a deeper, trembling delivery, and Paul Livingston, who contributed some of the finest songs on this album, plus bassist David Hughes and drummer Stephen Douglas—are equally essential, and they speak to another element of the band’s charm: They work best as a team, elevating one another to places they could not access alone. (Fittingly, Ray Shulman, of the 1970s prog rock band Gentle Giant, produced these quietly complex pop songs). Often, their dynamic brings into focus the spark of creation itself. Power-poppy highlights like “Easy Read” and “Bloodrush” are introduced with decoy hooks that feel transplanted from other, equally catchy songs; the uncharacteristically grungy “Killing the Cabinet” and “One at a Time” end with chaotic, jamming codas, letting out the demons before moving onto more polished material.

Despite the experimentation, these songs are built to lodge themselves in your head, and every individual part—the bassline in “I’m Immortal,” the vocal harmonies in “The Hairy Years”—feels designed to get the crowd singing along with them. And once you do, you might notice that the lyrics, sung mostly by Read in a thick Scottish accent, are just as thoughtful as the melodies. They love wordplay—“rehearsing” followed by “reversing the hearse”—but even more, they love playing with expectations. The heroic-sounding, minor-key “Hayfever,” an obvious single, seems to promise a star-crossed romance, and yet, Reader can’t seem to get passed the introduction. “Hello, I’m Harry” go the opening lines, as well as the chorus, placing the opening scene on loop before speeding through the action: “The rest,” he concludes, “is chemistry.”

Is it any wonder a band like this—so subtle, so self-aware—never took off? The years after I’ve Seen Everything are a bleak but familiar story in indie rock. The follow-up tanks, their label gets acquired by a major. The band gets dropped, falls off the radar. And while this would be the end of the story for most groups, it’s around this point that the Trashcans really get going and the community pitches in: Since their comeback with 2004’s Weightlifting, they have shared a symbiotic relationship with their fans, thanking supporters by name in the liner notes and rewarding them with a steady stream of live albums and demos collections.

In the liner notes for one of those demos collections, Livingston notes that “Easy Read,” the opening track on I’ve Seen Everything, was inspired by the time a bouncer wouldn’t let him into the club, so he came up with a lie about needing his keys from a friend inside. Somehow, it worked. It’s a small victory he translated into one of the band’s most triumphant songs: a sweeping string section, an ascending chorus, and a lyric that seems to capture the hazy romance of their own music: “Over the moon and under the influence,” Reader sings as the band rises to a climax. Upon the album’s release in 1993, Livingston looked toward the future. “I think we’re always going to be doing this,” he predicted in the original press statement. “Even if everybody started hating us and our record company chucked us off, we’d still write songs and make records for ourselves.” After all, anybody can lie their way into the club for a night. Starting your own takes guts.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Trashcan Sinatras - I’ve Seen Everything Music Album Reviews Trashcan Sinatras - I’ve Seen Everything Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on October 02, 2021 Rating: 5


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