and Grant McLennan
began as a pair of teenagers obsessed with the earthy rock of Dylan
, and the Velvet Underground
and encouraged by the Australian punk of the Saints
. As collected on The Able Label Singles, their first two singles show a fondness for scruffy, British Invasion/new wave-influenced pop/rock. Picking up permanent drummer Lindy Morrison, they recorded their debut LP, moved to England, and signed a short-lived deal with Rough Trade. Going for a lush, tuneful sound crammed with nonstandard rock instrumentation, they went on to record five more excellent LPs. Though their pre-Beggars Banquet albums were traditionally hard to find in the States, that label finally reissued all six albums on CD in 1996.
In 2000 the band reunited and released a new album, The Friends of Rachel Worth, which also featured all three members of Sleater-Kinney
. It wasn't just a fluke, as the band recorded follow-up albums released in 2003 (Bright Yellow Bright Orange) and 2005 (Oceans Apart). Documenting a 2005 concert in their hometown, the DVD/CD package That Striped Sunlight Sound arrived in early 2006, just a few months before the death of McLennan
in May. ~ Michael Ribas, Rovi