(ex) Cat Heads' classic "Our Frisco" is now available
in a limited edition of 750 copies. This
classic album from San Francisco heroes of the early 90s is as sublime
today as it was then. Once there was a band called The Catheads.
Then they became The (ex) Cat Heads. Originally released on vinyl
in 1990 on Twitch City, Lamingtone's deluxe CD reissue of "Our
Frisco" is digitally remastered and contains four previously
unreleased bonus tracks, additional photographs and
notes by Denise Sullivan. "Our
Frisco" is available at
have their say:
- The Big Question is: are they still any good without Melanie?
Well . . . yeah. Actually, former Cat Heads vocalist and drummer
Melanie Clarin, currently of Harm Farm, adds her ironic-but-cute
voice to one track here, "Anti-Song" ("This song
doesn't wanna make you dress all in black . . . .this song won't
get any airplay on the radio," etc.). But the (ex) Cat Heads
forage pretty well for themselves most of the time, plucking choice
musical berries and pulling up folk-rock roots and tubers to create
an album that's by turns lilting, sad, serene, melodic, and intense
- kind of like the city it's named after.
look at the album cover and you know what's going on here. The (ex)
Cat Heads have meticulously recreated an LP circa 1961, complete
with sepia-toned photo of guy-in-cap kissing gal-in-babushka on
the front and ersatz liner notes (liner notes?) on the back. Inside
the influences you expect to be there, are - Simon & Garfunkel,
Peter, Paul & Mary, the Hollies - except that they've had twenty
years to blend with each other. The resulting songs are funny, even
droll, without being novelty music, terse without being enigmatic,
and they rock without being ingratiating.
would go great with a rainy, foggy day and a cappucinio, which is
surely what the (ex) Cat Heads intended when they recorded it. -
Report: Vol. 23, No. 6, Issue #197 June 8, 1990 - This LP is
sort of a dream sequence of the Catheads ideal without the interruptions
of mundanity that plagued the band during its lifetime. . . . Almost
all the folkier, cumbersome bohemianisms have been weeded out, and
we're left with a residue of wispy, precise and sharply poignant
strum-rock that doesn't sacrifice gut for soft-spoken beauty or
vice versa. Their loping, laid-back riffs encapsulate the barefoot
free-spiritedness of their environs in the best poet-gone pop star
manner, the daisy chain reaching back to Moby Grape's first album.
There are more heart-wrenching tag lines per groove here than most
bands can manage in a dozen albums, but go to town on "Nothing"
(the less electric version), "Too Little, Too Late," "Something
In The Way" and "Anti-Song."
(Bay Area Music Magazine) - Most everything about this album feels
dashed off, from the "let's-see-if-we-can-stretch-these-songs-a-little-farther"
repertoire to the casual production and musicianship to the self-deprecating
name (the Cat Heads having been a Bay Area group that recorded two
albums for Restless in the late '80s). In fact, you sense that these
guys put more time into the campy early '60s cover concept and liner
notes than into the actual recording. If that was the case, then
they spent their time wisely, because "Our Frisco" is
an album that works splendidly on its own serendipitous terms. .
. . [T]he (ex) Cat Heads have put together a rare record that's
generous, comfortable and inviting. I'll keep coming back. - Steve
Loafing - As the name implies, the ex-Cat Heads feature former
members of the Cat Heads, a San Francisco group that released two
excellent albums, including the David Lowery (Camper Van Beethoven)
produced Submarine. . . . "Our Frisco" is a weird record,
but in all the best possible ways. - Tom Roe
Five - From San Francisco comes this eclectic band's record,
working its mood from comfortable folk and blues influenced songs
to hard rocking numbers that maintain an acoustic edge. The rock
tunes, from hard driving to jangly guitar pop are strong songs,
the teeth coming out with "Anti-Song," an acoustic rocker
that "Ain't getting any airplay on the radio, 'cause this song
says the word shit." A diverse record that excites and relaxes