The Prayers

Everything But the Rubber Cat

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Every era has its fair share of underrated or "lost" bands who have a small devoted following who are all thinking the same thing: with a break here or some luck there, their band could have made it. The shoegaze/guitar pop late '80s certainly has enough and Scotland's Prayers are one of them. In their short lifetime they only released two singles and placed another song on a compilation, but each of them was a high-quality chunk of fuzzy guitars, blistering dynamics, and honey-dipped melody. Reminiscent of groups like the Pale Saints or Boo Radleys, they were much less polished and far grittier. Of their songs, "Sister Goodbye" is the hands-down classic, three and a half minutes of guitar-slinging, heart-breaking glory equal to the best guitar pop going. The other four aren't far off the pace, with "Fingerdips" being especially memorable. Everything But the Rubber Cat features all five of the band's released songs plus a treasure chest of great-sounding demos for tunes that ended up on the singles ("Sister Goodbye," "Puppet Clouds," and "Under the Deep Blue") and two for songs that never saw the light of day. Both of these are fidelity-challenged but staggeringly good, maybe even better than the songs they did release. The melancholy and dreamy "Feet" (fab song, crap title) and "Daze" are truly hidden gems, and Egg has done a great service to fans of the band (who could probably comfortably fit into a standard-size lifeboat) and of late-'80s indie rock in general. If you fall into the latter category, check these guys out, as they will satisfy your indie snob urges and lay some fine music on you in the process.

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