IRE]— Thrum still
Thrum’s second album is being distributed in America. Will we get to hear it asks Fiona Shepherd.
There‘s a potentially great. potentially lost. potential album waiting impatiently for the chance ol~ a release which could potentially become the Glaswegian pop wars' answer to The Beach Boys’ Smile in that it exists. it just needs the opportunity to be heard. And that's too ruuch potential to waste. However. Thrum. the creators of Archangel are experienced enough to know you can‘t form what you can't control.
‘We‘re sort of in limboland now.‘ says singer Monica Queen. explaining the position Thrum ﬁnd themselves in alter a long period of silence. in which they‘ve been trying to extract themselves from their deal with Fire Records.
‘ll' you‘ve ever listened to Jarvis talking about Pulp’s experience ofgetting off Fire Records. it wasn‘t really a happy one.‘ says Queen. ‘It was a very long process we had to go through and obviously we couldn‘t record and put anything out until we were completely released. We just had to stand by and watch Fire taking their time over it which is very frustrating.‘
However. February of this year saw Thrum in at Sussex studio recording their best material for their second album — a far cry from the San Francisco sojourn that produced their debut Riﬂe/“tuna. an album which continued the passion of the live shows could be translated in the studio. By that time. Thrum were a well-kent force in Scotland. where they had been tipped for greater things since their emergence ﬁve years ago when the combination of Queen's strident country vocals. John Smillie‘s Neil Youngish guitars and memorable melodies instantly advertised that they were contenders.
Now Thrum have hooked up with American label PRA who are looking into the possibilities ol‘a UK release. In the meantime. we have to go on Queen's word and the evidence to be heard on their current tour and recent live session for Mark Radclil‘fe's Radio I show regarding Arc/rangers content.
‘lt's still very much the pop anthems. still song- based.‘ she says. ‘lt's a bit warmer-sounding than the ﬁrst album. easier on the ears. We still can't get away from pop writing but there's sad lyrics in there. We‘re still integrating the dark side of human nature with pop writing. It‘s a formula a lot ol‘classic bands have worked on — the good against evil. Johnny Cash wearing his black outﬁt to remind him of how bad he was. We're into that whole human nature thing. but we dress it up with pop galore. We‘re very observant as people. watching people's reactions and bringing it back home to write about.
‘We chop and change all the time. We're easily inﬂuenced. We'll go and see Ron Sexsrnith and say “that‘s what we want to do‘. then you go and see
Sonic Youth and say ”no. that‘s what we want to
Thrum’s up do‘.‘
For the moment it looks like the former is winning out . . .
‘Because we've been waiting around for so long we‘ve a great desire to move on and do something new and different.‘ continues Queen. ‘We've been listening to a lot more ambient and mellow stul‘l‘. people like Emmylou Harris. Ron Sexsmith and Brian Eno and things which have more space in it as opposed to the big guitar thing.‘
This hunger for new directions could rrrean that this tour marks the last Thrum appearances for some time.
‘When you’ve been together four/live years it gets a bit claustrophobic and you want to do something new. It would be good for John and I not to be responsible for anybody for a short while. because it's like bringing up a family.‘
But don't be too hasty with the razors in the bath. you Thrum-lovers.
Thrum play Cut/muse. G/usgmv. Sun 25; Venue. Edinburgh. Mon 26.
The Trash Can Sinatras have been very busy boys lately. Their titteen-minute short Spooktime has been providing the summer’s tilm—goers with a tasty teaser betore the Blood Simple main bill revival while their soundtrack to Marabou Stork Nightmares will till theatres later this year. On the more staple musical tront their third album,
and the follow-up to 1993's I’ve Seen Everything, A Happy Pocket is, um, in
Trash Can Slnatras: tull ot happlness
' the can, but let’s save the most bizarre
They have contributed a track to the vinyl/CD/cassette celebration ot a decade of The Smiths’ The Queen Is Dead, where they canoodle in the listing with the likes oi The Boo itadleys, Therapy and Supergrass. ‘lt’s a pretty strange one that,’ admits guitarist and paintbrush (it says here), John Douglas. ‘When we got asked to do it there were only three songs left so we chose Iltnow It’s Over which was a bit at a challenge. It’s still quite long but we've changed the instrumentation and totally revamped
They may never have set the music world ablaze but still bunkered up in
their Kilmarnock homebase and
recording at the local Shabby lload studies, the band are more than content with their lot. ‘In a pertect world we knew what kind ot band we wanted to be,’ states Douglas. ‘And it’s OK, we’re kind ot getting there. It’s really just a whole learning process.’ And with the new album, that process continues space. Full ot whimsy and grace, light and shade, the fourteen- track collection takes its title lrom an old triend who died recently. ‘It was a guy who worked tor us,’ recalls Douglas. ‘Every time he got his wages, he’d say “a tull pocket is a happy pocket,” so it’s just a wee tribute to him.’ (Brian Donaldson) Trash can Sinatras play The Dathouse, Glasgow, Sun 8; Venue, idlnhurdi, Mon 9. A Happy Pocket ls out on Mona
The List 23 Aug-5 Sept l996 91