the PrayersEvery era has its fair share of underrated or "lost" bands who have a small devoted following and who are all thinking the same thing: namely, that with a break here or some luck there, their band could have made it. The shoegaze/dream pop late '80s certainly has enough of these unlucky bands, with Scotland's Prayers being a typical example. 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 the Boo Radleys, they were much less polished and far grittier but still quite interesting. 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.

Sister Goodbye

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. With this reissue, Egg Records has done a great service to fans of the band (who could probably comfortably fit into a standard-size lifeboat) and fans of late-'80s indie rock in general.

Check the Egg Records site for more excellent reissues.