The Scratch – DIY
I relax to Spiral Scratch 03:27
Rotten Soul 03:48
Texture to the Flava 03:19
X-Ray Eyes 05:06
Trigger Finger 03:50
Back to Ten 05:00
Alcohol’s a Depressant 04:39
Logical Mind 05:29
The Scratch’s 2003 Debut album remastered and re-released.
Referencing the sounds and spirit of DIY punk and early British alternative and even a dollop of the pre-acid house Manchester vibes while maintaining a common edge throughout, the album sold out when originally released back in 2003 and due to demand from newer fans the timing felt right to re-issue ‘DIY’ and make it available for download for the first time.
original release 2004 re-mastered and re-released October 10, 2010
We’ve been following the progress of The Scratch with interest. Their (too) scant output so far has amounted to one 7” single and one 10” single, two records that introduced their widescreen vision, piqued our interest and then left us hungry for more. The four songs that appeared on the singles are here with an extra boot up their arses and a studio polish and sound even better than before.
‘I Relax To Spiral Scratch’ opens up the album and remains a gloriously dumb 3 minute kamikaze dive bomb of a tune. Like the Ramones and the Damned working through the Buzzcocks (well it would be with a title like that) song book on speed complete with outer space sound effects for good measure. It should be all too much but against the odds it works. Joint A side on the 7? single was ‘Trigger Finger’ and it appears here again, a spiky, shouty, trashy piece of work with howling guitars and a great spoken run through of some of Londons lowlights.
So now you’re probably ready to write them off as yet another London band with 3 chords and a whole lot of attitude. Well they’re a little more interesting than that (and they’re from Hertfordshire anyway). As their next release proved, another double A side, this time they moved into more dubby areas. ‘X-Ray Eyes’ in particular goes for a serious rumble around the bass bins whilst up top a steel guitar adds a funky vibe to proceedings. In essence it resides in the same musical landscape as Kasabian’s ‘Processed Beats’ (a good thing) and demands to be cranked up loud. Meanwhile ‘Brainstorm’ takes a more introspective approach utilising a more rumbling bass sound and moody Massive Attackesque electronics. Eventually a sheet of guitar cuts through the narcotic haze to take us to a disorientating finale.
Theoretically bands should not be this unrestricted. It is soon apparent that these boys have record collections you could get lost in and that they also know their way round a studio. The dance element shouldn’t be a surprise, two of their members have had minor success making dance records in the past and their electronic beat building experience is all over this record. Perhaps the culmination of all these influences and high point of the record to these ears is ‘Logical Mind’, a funky, druggy groove that moves into Stone Roses territory with a sublime jangly guitar riff. It’s loping beat and laid back guitar make for a hazy classic.
Elsewhere ‘Texture to the Flava’ moves into a more straight forward rock area and they prove once again that they’re more than comfortable in switching styles. ‘Alcohol’s A Depressant’ apart from having a title that you really don’t want to hear, continues the journey into more straight forward pleasures indulging itself in a sub AC/DC riff. Whilst you wouldn’t be surprised to hear ‘Supermodel’ on the next Supergrass album (once again, no bad thing).
The Scratch, as the title of the record suggests, got tired of waiting for the music industry to give them a chance and like many artists we talk about on W&H have decided to make their own way. The fact that they’ve achieved such a diverse yet coherent set of songs and that it sounds so damn professional is to be applauded. [www.whisperinandhollerin.co.uk]