"Beginning Of The End Of The Night"
Meet You In The Shadows
Burger Records (2018)
LP/CD/CS available 12/14/2018
Outrageous Cherry combined psychedelia, folk rock, art rock, and bubblegum music across more than 12 albums and nearly three decades. They attracted an international cult following and were a longstanding fixture in the Detroit rock and roll scene since their first gigs in 1991. MEET YOU IN THE SHADOWS is their final studio album, completed before the passing of founding lead guitarist Larry Ray. Some of the songs, like "Lies Feel Good" and "Creeps Retreat", address contemporary social and political turmoil, while "The Beginning of the End of the Night" and "Complicate Me" are more of a psychological hall of mirrors. The title track, "Meet You in the Shadows" is all of these things at once.
The musicians are the same lineup that recorded the previous Outrageous Cherry album on Burger Records, THE DIGITAL AGE:
Matthew Smith- vocals, guitar, keyboards
Larry Ray - lead guitar
Colleen Burke - bass
Maria Nuccilli -drums
...with backing vocals by everyone.
Outrageous Cherry began in 1991, playing gigs in coffee houses, bars, and art galleries. Like the Gories, who were on the Detroit scene a few years before them, O.C. used a minimal drum kit with no cymbals, which allowed the full range of their guitar tonalities to be heard without having to turn their amps up to 10. Their self-titled debut album was released in 1994 on Bar/None Records, followed by a sequence of albums on different labels, including a couple of years signed to Alan McGee's Poptones label.
O.C. toured the USA and Europe, and were sometimes an opening act for bands like Wilco, Yo La Tengo, Stereolab, The Soundtrack of Our Lives, Guided by Voices and others. The New Pornographers were also fans of the group and recorded an e.p. of Outrageous Cherry covers.
Despite their prolific songwriting tendencies, Outrageous Cherry's best known song is probably their cover of Junior Kimbrough's somewhat psychedelic blues number "Lord Have Mercy on Me", which appeared on a 2005 tribute LP with the reformed Stooges, and later was used in the opening credits of the film "Black Snake Moan".
Outrageous Cherry's music also reached a wider audience thanks to Little Steven Van Zandt, who regularly plays O.C. on his radio show, and also curated a CD compilation of his favorite O.C. tracks.
The band was always working on new songs and new recordings, even while Matthew Smith was busy producing artists like the Go, Andre Williams, Nathaniel Mayer, and touring with Rodriguez, Crime and the City Solution, and the Volebeats.
The band had a few personnel changes through the years in the rhythm section, but Matthew and Larry had a solid musical chemistry. The blend of Larry's lead guitar and Matthew's lead vocals was always inspiring them to keep cranking out records. MEET YOU IN THE SHADOWS finds Larry's guitar solos blasting over and under the vocal melodies and harmonies in as good an example of this chemistry as any of their previous records.
On "The Last Nice Guy in Detroit", you can hear Outrageous Cherry in their kitchen rehearsal space and studio, playing a song they've just learned how to play, and then mixing it immediately with no overdubs at all, because it sounded fine right there in the room. In this track you can hear the band doing exactly what they would've been doing at their first rehearsal 25 years earlier. They didn't take these musical happenings for granted, knowing well that it's not easy to keep a musical entity thriving and relevant for so many years. They would look at how long Slade stayed together, or the fact that Kraftwerk were soon coming to town, and this was all the encouragement they needed to keep jamming and writing and recording.