You’ve got to have something at the merch table. I tell it to bands all the time. I believe the way to build up a solid fanbase is by letting the audience have a recording so they can listen at home. St. Joseph’s favorite sons Scruffy & The Janitors may have rushed out their first recording, Pino, but it was an important step for them to take so early in their career.
The songs are are flat-out stellar on this debut album. The harmonica driven “Use Me Up” pays homage to music’s old blues roots while the thrashy fuzz guitar on “Post Meridian” acknowledges the 90s alternative music that defined generations. The steady stomp of “Stick Around” and “I Will Pick You Up” define the band’s sound in a nutshell. The high point of the record is Teriq Newton’s slide guitar skills on another classic blues sounding number “Poor Boy.” The record even has a much need breather in the middle with singer Steven Foster’s delicate acoustic tune “Rosie.” Pino even ends strongly as well with the reflective lyrics of “Dupe.”
The downside of rushing out a recording is the quality. The songs are strong, the sequencing of the record is great and little extra production needs to be added to the songs on Pino. It is a lo-fi recording and at times it is unfortunately noticeable. It’s hard to hold it against the young band that they couldn’t afford a better recording though. The fact is that it turned a potentially great record in to a just a very good one. We should all be thankful we have a recording of this great young band to take home.
Key Tracks: “Poor Boy” “Use Me Up” “Stick Around” “I Will Pick You Up”