Song of the day: The Scruffs – "Let You Down"

April 1, 2010

Before I play you today’s song, I have a question for all you power poppers out there:

Can any of you explain to me exactly what the word “crunchy” means? I’ve seen it used plenty of times in power pop album reviews (e.g., “The guitars are crunchy”, “It’s crunchy power pop”, “Now that’s crunchy” etc), but I have no idea what that actually means. Does it mean that the guitars are very distorted? Slightly distorted? Compressed? Distorted and compressed? Or does it mean that the musicians ate cereal during the recording sessions?

I’m at a loss because it’s one of those vague musical descriptions that I’ve always found baffling and irritating because it doesn’t tell me anything. Like when classical music reviewers talk about a piece having “depth”. What?

The reason I ask is that I have a suspicion that the start of today’s song by Sydney band The Scruffs has a guitar sound that could be called crunchy – but there’s no way of telling until someone explains to me exactly what “crunchy” means:

The Scruffs – “Let You Down” (2001)


Was that crunchy?

Anyway, enough of my blathering. I’m sure you don’t want to see that word again for quite a while.

The Scruffs released just one album, The Actual Size, in 2001 and were never heard of again. Well, almost never heard from again. The album had a unusual life of its own, though, because it was re-released in 2003 as Wanna Meet… by The Wake Ups (you can buy it at CD Baby). It’s still the same album, but the names of both the album and the band are different, and with completely different album artwork:

I don’t know why that happened, and I don’t know if that’s ever happened before, but changing the name of the band as well as the album sure is a weird thing to do.

And to make this saga even weirder, there’s an American power pop band from Memphis, Tennessee called The Scruffs ( You won’t believe the name of their debut album:

And, if all that wasn’t weird enough (it is), there’s another band from Memphis, Tennessee, called The Scruffs – but they differentiate themselves from the other Memphis Scruffs by calling themselves The Scruffs with Tommy Hoehn.

I’ve just realised that today’s date is the 1st of April. I guess all of this would make a dandy April Fools Day joke if it wasn’t all true. But it’s all true. And I don’t know why. But I do know it’s starting to hurt my brain.

An American band called The Scruffs on MySpace
An American band called The Scruffs with Tommy Hoehn on MySpace
A Scottish band called The Scruffs on MySpace (yes, really)

Song of the day: The Scruffs – "Nobody Slows"

December 13, 2009

Here’s Sydney band The Scruffs with the oddly-titled “Nobody Slows” (2001):


(That song title is very weird grammatically*, and the more I look at it the weirder it gets.)

Incidentally, there’s another band called The Scruffs on MySpace, but they’re from Scotland.

(*Or is that “grammatically very weird”? Curse you, English!)