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When It All Comes Down

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Album Review

Miaow is one of those curious groups whose mystique and influential sway greatly overshadowed their meager recorded output. Between 1985-1987, the band contributed "Sport Most Royal" to NME's original C-86 compilation, recorded two sessions with legendary British DJ John Peel, and released an unforgettable single on Factory Records. If these feats don't solidify Miaow's old-school indie cred, vocalist Cath Carroll also wrote for NME, married Big Black guitarist Santiago Durango, and went on to be the fanboy fantasy of TeenBeat's Mark Robinson. But the best thing about Miaow's legacy? They actually deserve it. Songs like "Did She?," "Grocer's Dead Daughter," and "Following Through" sound so impossibly fresh, it's difficult to believe they aren't 21st century recordings from Slumber Party, Belle & Sebastian, or the Shermans. No matter what the genre was eventually called — twee, indie pop, shambling, etc. — Miaow's effortless melodies, bittersweet lyrics, and complete lack of musical pretense contributed significantly to its blueprint. When It All Comes Down is the definitive Miaow retrospective. It includes all of the trio's studio material, their two John Peel sessions, and previously unheard demos of "Fear of the Sun" and "Carnal Drag," which were recorded for the infamous, unfinished Factory release Priceless Innuendo.

Biography

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s

Indie pop cult favorites Miaow formed in Manchester, England, in 1984 -- singer/guitarist Cath Carroll, a notorious habitué of the Factory Records-owned club the Hacienda and a New Musical Express writer (under the pseudonym Myrna Minkoff), previously collaborated with bassist Steve Maguire, keyboardist Jonathan Bedford, and drummer Chris Fenner in the Gay Animals. After Miaow completed their 1985 debut single, "Belle Vue" for the Venus Records label, Maguire exited and with the additions of new...
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