The Scruffs
Gig Seeker Pro

The Scruffs

Memphis, Tennessee, United States | INDIE

Memphis, Tennessee, United States | INDIE
Band Alternative Pop

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

This band hasn't logged any past gigs

Music

Press


"Press Kit for KILL! KILL!"

Press page and One Sheet for The Scruffs and NEW CD "KILL! KILL! The Scruffs" - Scruffsville?


"The Scruffs"

The Scruffs

"Wanna' Meet the Scruffs?" [Power Play, 1977] A-
Midtown [Northern Heights, 1998] ***

Consumer Guide Reviews:
"Wanna' Meet the Scruffs?" [Power Play, 1977]
Only a sucker for rock and roll could love this record, and I am that sucker. A middle-period Beatles extrapolation in the manner of Big Star (another out-of-step Memphis power-pop group on a small, out-of-step Memphis label), it bursts with off harmonies, left hooks, and jolts of random energy. The trouble is, these serve a shamelessly and perhaps permanently post-adolescent vision of life's pain, most of which would appear to involve gurls. To which objection the rockin' formalist in me responds, "I wanna hear `Revenge' again." A-

Midtown [Northern Heights, 1998]
it's Memphis, it's the '80s, and darn it, Big Star lives ("Machiavellian Eyes," "Judy [She Put the Devil in Me]") *** - Village Voice


"Kill! Kill! by The Scruffs"

Kill! Kill! by The Scruffs
by J.D. Reager
Tools

Twitter
Facebook
Email
Print
Add to favorites
Add to Custom List
Comments

click to enlarge recrev_Scruffs.jpg


Kill! Kill!
The Scruffs
(Scruffsville)

"Scotland sings to me/All the way down to Tennessee," sings former Memphian Stephen Burns on his latest release under the name the Scruffs.

In truth, Burns hasn't called these parts home in a long time, but he's always kept his local music pedigree close to heart. And on Kill! Kill!, Burns shows why he might be the most vital remaining member of the now somewhat legendary Memphis power-pop scene of the 1970s.

Recorded last year at Ardent Studios by local producer/engineer and new Scruffs member Adam Hill, the album is a McCartney-esque pop tour de force that sounds fresh and surprisingly fierce coming from a band in its 36th year of existence. Songs like "Hide Me Hide Me" and "She's a Killer" ("killing" is a theme repeated throughout the record) show Burns' knack for a memorable hook and bitter turn of phrase.

Kill! Kill! also benefits greatly from its many guest contributions, from famous folks like Bobby Kildea (Belle & Sebastian) and Peter Buck (REM) to ace local players Al Gamble (the City Champs, John Paul Keith & The One Four Fives), John Whittemore (Neighborhood Texture Jam, Jack O & The Tennessee Tearjerkers), and Jake and Toby Vest (Tiger High).

Grade: A-
- Memphis Flyer


Discography

ANGST The Scruffs
WANNA MEET THE SCRUFFS? The Scruffs
TEENAGE GURLS The Scruffs
MIDTOWN The Scruffs
BACK FROM THE GRAVE (Signs & Symbols) The Scruffs
LOVE, THE SCRUFFS The Scruffs
SWINGIN' SINGLES The Scruffs
POP MANIFESTO The Scruffs
CONQUEST The Scruffs
KILL! KILL! The Scruffs (Release date: Feb 1, 2012)

Photos

Bio

The Scruffs are a pop music group originally founded by writer/guitarist/vocalist Stephen Burns in Memphis, Tennessee circa 1978. The Scruffs have continued to released a number of records, up to and including a pending release in 2011 entitled "Kill! Kill!." The Scruffs and Big Star have been voted the MOST influential anglo pop bands originating in Memphis, Tennessee.

The constant figure throughout has been singer/songwriter and guitarist Stephen Burns. The Scruffs recorded its material at renowned Ardent Studios in Memphis and released its first LP album in 1977 on Power Play records, entitled Wanna Meet The Scruffs?, which remains a cult classic in the genre of power pop.

Although from Memphis, The Scruffs projected an English pop style and were influenced by The Beatles and The Kinks, among others. The Scruffs were occasionally accompanied on stage by former Box Tops and Big Star members, and fellow Memphis power-popper Alex Chilton. A second album was released after 20 years (although recorded in 1979-80) titled TeenAge Gurls. This release was accompanied by the first CD release of "Wanna Meet the Scruffs?" Additional collections include: Angst, The Early Years, a collection of earlier recordings and MidTown, a release of recordings made by Stephen Burns and various musicians during the 1980s.

During the late 1990s, Burns moved for a time to Glasgow, Scotland, where he hooked up with local musicians to release Love, The Scruffs and Swingin' Singles. Although now principally living back in the United States, he continues to work in, variously, Glasgow and Edinburgh as well as Memphis. This has resulted in several further releases (five in all) by The Scruffs from around the turn of the millennium right up to date (2011), many of which have received many favourable reviews.

Many of these more recent releases have been heavily influenced by Scottish based (if not exclusively Scottish born) musicians. From "Love, The Scruffs" onwards, contributors have included Bobby Kildea, Stevie Jackson and Stuart Murdoch of Belle and Sebastian renown, as well as Zachary Ware, guitarist with The Proclaimers, and Francis MacDonald of Teenage Fanclub and BMX Bandits fame, along with Glasgow and Edinburgh based Simon Cottrell and Mark Rodgers providing the bass and drums on many recent tracks and Gary Thom providing drums on "Swingin' Singles," and significant contributions from Giles Lamb and Paul Napier for piano and guitar parts respectively, and Peter Shand and Mick Cooke (also of Belle and Sebastian) for string arrangements. Many, many others have also contributed, particularly Geoff Allan at CaVa Studios in Glasgow, and Adam Hill and Lucas Petersen at Ardent Studios, Memphis (with additional thanks to Jody Stephens and John Fry in particular at Ardent).

In 2007, a new Scruffs album, was released entitled Pop Manifesto, which received many favorable reviews. Following this, in 2009, the Scruffs reconvened, first in Glasgow and later in Memphis, to record a new album, called "Conquest." This was released in January 2010 to, once more, many favourable reviews. Encouraged by this, The Scruffs reconvened in Edinburgh, Scotland in early 2010 to commence rehearsals for their forthcoming release "Kill ! Kill !." Following this, in November 2010, The Scruffs reconvened at Ardent Studios, Memphis, to record that album, subsequently mastered at Abbey Road Studios in London, England in February 2011, and it includes a special guest appearance on one track from Peter Buck of R.E.M.

The release date is to be confirmed as at February 2011. For this latest release, The Scruffs principal line up is Stephen Burns (Guitar, Vocals, Producer), Adam Hill (Guitars, Backing Vox, Engineer, Mixing, additional Bass guitar), Bobby Kildea (Bass, Backing Vocals and Percussion) and Mark Rodgers (Drums and Percussion), with the Vest Brothers (also from Memphis) providing backing vocals and guitar, and occasional contributions from other Memphis session players.