Sunday, September 17, 2006


Today is classic Sunday, and a chance for me to write about a favorite hometown band from the past. Although I feature quite a few Ohio bands, I don't think I've ever brought anything to the table from Columbus. This will be a good opportunity to start with the best. I must have been 16 years old when I made my way down to the OSU campus record stores on my moped and picked up a cassette tape titled When Cows Ruled The Earth. It was a compilation of local artists including RC Mob, Silent Majority, Painful Discharge, Great Plains...and of course today's featured artists Scrawl. I wanted to play the song Gutterball that was a part of that tape but couldn't find a quality mp3 to share. Instead, I decided on a track that was released 10 years later in 1996. (But since it's so good, we'll post Gutterball as a bonus track). Since the band really never altered their sound throughout the years, today's song doesn't stray too far from the early material. If the vocals sound vaguely familiar and you have no idea why, it might be a result of Marcy Mays making a guest appearance on the Afghan Whigs' album Gentlemen to sing the track My Curse. After reading what I could find around the internet, it seems that this is just the tip of a wonderful but highly unacknowledged iceberg.

was formed in 1985 as an all female power trio comprised of Marcy Mays (guitar/vocals) Sue Harshe (bass/vocals) and Carolyn O'Leary (drums). They opened up for The Meat Puppets that year as well as a few hardcore bands locally and so began their travels. The late 80s saw them touring with such bands as fIREHOSE and the Afghan Whigs. Scrawl was a local flavor and considered an active band, but for some reason always seemed to be re-emerging from some sort of sabbatical. Before I left Columbus for college in the early 90s, I attended our local music festival Comfest and, as Scrawl took the stage, heard from my roommate (who was dating a member of The Gibson Brothers) that the drummer was history for reasons I won't repeat here. I guess the well bridled term creative differences works as a substitute. Marcy and Sue went on to do various acoustic shows and eventually enlisted the assistance of Dana Marshall on drums.

During the early 90s Scrawl toured with then unknown Oasis in Europe and Bob Mould's band Sugar here in the US They also did a session with John Peel in 1993 (right down the road from Michelle in Maida Vale). Scrawl released several previous albums, but today's featured song is from the band's major label debut (back when that term was applicable) Travel On, Rider on short lived Elektra Records. After a final record from that label they faded rather than calling it quits, playing random shows and festivals when they could make it back to Columbus. Some of Scrawl's music was produced by Steve Albini and they are even listed in the credits of the 1987 D. Boon memorial Minutemen release Ballot Results. I can't speak for the whereabouts of the other members of the band but Marcy is now part of a different type of power trio. She is part owner of the best bar and grill here in town. Check out the Surly Girl Saloon here in C-Bus whenever possible. If you decide to get a bite to eat, the Vegetarian or Meaty Chili 3 Way rocks! (Edit: and so do the Margaritas - Michelle)

The below stub might not look like much, but was a ticket to a really great, although massively unattended, show featuring the following headliners (yes, in this order):

Material Issue
The Ocean Blue
Afghan Whigs

MP3: Good Under Pressure
Bonus MP3s: Enough & Gutterball


thepsychicpilot said...

Man I miss them. I have several mopre MP3s here:

Anonymous said...

I've only got one album by them "Bloodsucker" but I always thought it was really good. ted

Anonymous said...

I really miss them too. I pulled out the vinyl the other day when I was cleaning and rocked out. I like "Plus, Also, Too" and "He's Drunk" the best. And their cover of Wire's "Reuters" is one of my all-time favorite songs.

Rob, Oct. 4