Monday, October 26, 2009

The legendary Scruffs return to release Conquest on January 12, 2010!

"I was really blown away when I’d heard Pop Manifesto. A majestic pop record with some of the best songs Burns has ever written." -- Tim Hinely, Dagger

Legendary band, The Scruffs, have returned for their 5th record, the stellar Conquest. Like the rise and fall of so many civilizations before us, The Scruffs have risen again to reclaim their role of “Best Pop Band That Nobody Knows.” This time with help from current and former members of Big Star, Belle & Sebastian, Teenage Fanclub & The Proclaimers, they might just finally become the “Best Pop Band That Everybody Knows!”

The Scruffs originally hailed from Memphis, Tennessee and became Southern pioneers of the “power pop” musical movement. Founded by lead songwriter, singer and guitarist Stephen Burns, The Scruffs recorded the classic cult album Wanna Meet The Scruffs? at Ardent Studios in Memphis in 1977. Critical acclaim struck the band; much the same as fellow Memphians Big Star, and a second album was recorded entitled Teenage Gurls. (This album would remain unreleased for 20 years.)

In late 1982, Stephen Burns returned to Memphis, the original Scruffs all but psychologically destroyed from the flames of fame and failure. Perhaps the original prediction of the hit song “I’m A Failure” (from Wanna Meet The Scruffs?) was indeed a song of self-fulfilling prophecy.

In late 1998 Stephen Burns arrived relocated to Glasgow, Scotland and with the help of a plethora of friends took The Scruff franchise international by recording Love, The Scruffs at CaVa Studios in Glasgow. He returned to Memphis to mix the album at Ardent Studios with John Hampton and Scottish engineer Geoff Allan. Great reviews greeted the album. But Burns, ever the perfectionist, retreated into his new home in Glasgow and started work on his next record.

Continuing a trend towards a greater emphasis on orchestral instrumentation augmenting the power of the basic pop quartet, Burns geared up a total range of pop compositions for the album Pop Manifesto. Recorded over a year with (now) permanent Scruffs Simon Cottrell, Mark Rodgers and Paul Napier with major contributions from Zachary Ware, Giles Lamb, Peter Shand and engineer Geoff Allan, Pop Manifesto was recorded at CaVa studios in Glasgow and finished and mixed at Ardent studios in Memphis in June of 2006.

In April of 2009, the band went back into the CaVa studio to begin recording a large batch of songs, culled from the last 3 years of writing. Those recordings begat Conquest. An all-star Scruff cast is included on Conquest (see album credits which include members of Big Star, Belle & Sebastian, The Proclaimers and Teenage Fanclub) and the talent shows on this pop opus, stronger and more massive than ever before. The title track “Conquer Me” and “Curse of The Mau Mau” power out immediately while tracks like “Treasure Girls” and “Demon Mine” harken back to the earlier days of The Scruffs. Burns throws out a scintillating Revolveresque tune called “One More You” before finishing out the album with a gospel song and “Land of Trance” which is an Abbey Road style final track.

Scruffeteers get ready! The Scruffs march onward towards a worldwide CONQUEST!!

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