Savior in a Plaid Coat (1998)
For all intents and purposes, Davenport, Iowa’s Patrick Stolley was the Multiple Cat. He wrote or co-wrote all the band’s material, played most of the instruments, sang lead vocals, and recorded the songs in his home studio. Orbiting around Stolley was an amorphous cast of talented friends and musicians.
Recorded around 1998, “Savior in a Plaid Coat” appeared on The Golden Apple Hits, released by the Plow City label in 2001. Many of the songs are quieter and more introspective than Stolley's earlier work, especially the slow-building "Savior." According to Stolley, "A lot of folks don't get that one. 'Too light' and 'drum machiney' are comments I've heard. It's very meaningful to me, though, because it's about when my mom put me into state custody (I was a bad little Robert Smith look-alike) and I had to go to court and all this drama. I ran away from the state shelter and crossed the river to Illinois, and my girlfriend Nancy picked me up and got me out of town."
The Multiple Cat got their start when Zero Hour, a well-funded but ultimately mismanaged indie, released the Multiple Cat’s debut in 1996. Stolley was mowing his lawn when he got the call from Zero Hour with a generous offer. The label folded soon after the album’s release, forcing Stolley to make the switch to a series of other labels. By the time The Golden Apple Hits came out, the band was no longer active.
After an acrimonious split with his wife, Stolley entered a dormant phase. “I lost touch with music for a while, and was bitter in general,” Stolley told me. “When my life came back together, I felt like the Multiple Cat was more a part of the past.” Stolley abandoned the old name for good and started recording with a slightly revamped sound as the Marlboro Chorus. Since 2001, Stolley has released three albums on Future Appletree under this moniker.
In 2005, Future Appletree also issued a highly recommended collection of the Multiple Cat's best tracks. Get it here.