The Trash Can Sinatras

Zebra of the Family: Demos and Debris

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Designed as a means to help finance their 2004 comeback album, Weightlifting -- according to frontman Frank Reader -- this 41-track double CD offers an alternative look at the Trash Can Sinatras' classic, studio-honed material in both rough demo and live form. Compiled from old cassettes, four-track demos, and road recordings, the two-and-a-half-hour-long Zebra of the Family isn't an ideal introduction to one of the world's most underrated pop groups, because the sound quality is routinely ragged. Still, devotees will have trouble living without the optimistic 1989 demo take of "Obscurity Knocks" and peculiar renderings of faves like "The Best Man's Fall" -- in rockabilly mode -- or the unexpectedly edgy "The Genius I Was."

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