Thursday, September 25, 2014

CD Review: Scruffy The Cat Says One Last "Goodbye" With Unreleased Recordings

Boston band Scruffy The Cat were heroes on the local college radio stations in the late-eighties. They signed a record deal with Relativity Records in 1986 and released two EPs and two full-length albums in three years. Their albums were heralded by MTV's 120 Minutes show and in Rolling Stone magazine, naming their album "Tiny Days" one of the best college albums of 1987. The band toured non-stop until they decided to call it quits in 1990. Scruffy The Cat did reunite for three shows in 2011 to benefit the cancer-stricken lead singer Charlie Chesterman, who died in November 2013.
Omnivore Recordings are looking to remind fans of how good Scruffy The Cat was with the release of "The Good Goodbye: Unreleased Recordings 1984-1990." It gives insight to one of the pioneering bands of alternative country music. The new twenty-song release begins with some of the band's earliest recordings from May 1984. The band seems tentative with their sound on "The Burning Cross," as if they are still finding their place in music. In just a few short months, Scruffy The Cat show a huge leap in their songwriting with "The Ghost Song," but it would be the ten live songs recorded in the Fall of 1985 that has this band turning into an underground sensation. Songs like the up-tempo "Oldest Fire In The World" and "Tiger Tiger" show a new confidence in their sound. They also have fun performing some cover songs like "Slow Down" and "Well . . All Right." The compilation then jumps a couple of years to some of the band's last live studio recordings in 1989. The music features a more modern pop-punk feel with "Red Light" and a raw version of their underground hit "Love Song #9."
Its really great to hear some of these lost gems by a band that never received the full accolades they deserved for helping define the alternative country sound. To find out more about this new release, please visit

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