I’ve grown up with a particular fixation on Scottish music and culture. A large part of this is due to my father’s own interest in obscure Scottish music, and a staple in both of our obsessions for the Scots is a truly underrated band by the name of Trashcan Sinatras- this week’s Throwback Thursday. Their first and largest worldwide hit came from their 1990 debut, Cake, a truly great track called “Obscurity Knocks”. I’ve always loved that song, but for this 10th edition, I decided to highlight one closer to my heart, entitled “Twisted and Bent”. It comes from their marvelous third album in 1996, A Happy Pocket, and remains one of my top iTunes tracks and go to 90’s jams. This song, and band for that matter, is completely under appreciated when opening up the wide conversation that is the 90’s, but in a way I kind of like it like that. They’ve kept their undeniably charming and authentic music pure throughout the years, consistently releasing album after album of truly fantastic music- who knows if it’d be the same had they been bitten by the super fame bug?
It eludes me though, how they weren’t swept away by complete musical stardom. They had (still have) it all- a subtly stud-ly and handsome lead singer with those hella cute glasses a-la Graham Coxon, perfectly clever wordplay/ smooth as silk harmonies, and extremely addictive melodies! They got rid of 90’s band cliches, adopted an ear pleasing musical style and wrote damn poetic alt pop songs. They, at least for me, shined through a mess of Oasis wannabes in England, evaded the stench of Pearl Jam copy cats in America, and became their own band with their own take on the times in Scotland.
How great are these lyrics?! Geography and history should only ever be explained by rock stars.
“…the pirate in me turned a blind eye.
So come aboard, I’m going to explore
Murphy’s law and the rules of Columbus.
He got it wrong, got blown off course.
Navigated us in knots of course”