Tag Archives: Freakbeat

The Embrooks: Nightmare 7″

It’s been more than a decade since the Embrooks dropped their second album, Yellow Glass Perspections, and parted ways. But they’re back with a terrific pair of freakbeat tunes that include the garage, mod and psych influences that made their earlier work so exciting. They’re as good as ever, if not better! Shades of early Who, Small Faces, the Creation and more.

The Embrooks Facebook Page
Buy the 7″

The Most: Auto-Destructive Art

Most_AutoDestructiveArtModern-day Freakbeat, savage garage and mod-soul from Sweden

This Swedish quartet draws heavily from 1960s British rock, especially the Who. The opening “Problems” plays like a buoyant tribute to the Who’s “Run, Run, Run,” and their grungy, original ode to “Spiderman” echoes the Who’s take on “Batman.” The full-kit drum fills and punchy bass solos owe a lot to Moon and Entwistle, but the guitar has a harder edge than Townshend’s, sounding more like the axes of the Creation’s Eddie Phillips and the Eyes’ Phillip John Heatley. After several EPs and compilation appearances, the Most have released this first long player, with twelve original songs that reach back to the transitional Freakbeat period, the folk-psych influences of the Byrds and Leaves, and the frenetic American soul that inspired the Mods. Sharp guitars, drums and bass that push the beat, and vocals that have the tinge of sweaty basement clubs (and American garages) add up to a good time for those who like their rock mid-sixties style. [©2013 Hyperbolium]

The Most’s Facebook Page

Small Faces: There Are But Four

SmallFaces_ThereAreButFourSmall Faces first U.S. release transitions from R&B to Freakbeat

This 1967 album was Small Faces’ U.S. debut, combining tracks from their self-titled third album (and first for the Immediate label) with three hit singles and two B-sides. Though the group had already established themselves in the UK, topping the British chart in 1966 with “All or Nothing,” it was the single that is this album’s first track, “ItchycooPark,” that broke them in the U.S., charting at #16. This was also to be their biggest stateside hit, as the follow-on single, “Tin Soldier,” fell short of the Top 40. The third single collected here, “Here Come the Nice,” was the group’s first for Immediate, and though it charted in the UK and Germany, it wasn’t released as a single in the U.S.

The band’s earlier releases on Decca were the epitome of mod R&B, but with their move to Immediate their music helped usher psychedelic influences into what’s retroactively been labeled Freakbeat. The lyrics are more impressionistic and fantastic than their earlier material, and production touches include flanging on “ItchycooPark,” a false fadeout on “I Feel Much Better,” and a variable tape-speed descent to end “Here Come the Nice.” The latter also slipped an overt drug reference by the day’s censors, complementing the suspected (but denied) reference to getting high in “ItchycooPark.” The band’s more straightforward R&B sound can still be heard on several tracks, including the romantically frustrated “Talk to You” and the hopeful “Get Yourself Together.”

Small Faces proved themselves just as adept at flowing psych as they’d been at beat rock, with Ian McLagan’s keyboard providing multiple textures. McLagan and Ronnie Lane each provided a lead vocal, but it was Steve Marriott who showed himself to be the truly riveting front man. The album peaked just shy of the UK Top 10, and though the following year’s psychedelic concept album, Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake, is more often cited as the group’s creative high point, this self-titled release (not to be confused with their like-titled 1965 Decca debut) was the more musically influential – both at the time, and on subsequent generation of British musicians. Varese’s reissue includes the original 12-track U.S. lineup in stereo; completists should check out the mono-stereo-UK-US 2-disc edition. 

Towerbrown: I Wanna Know (What You’re Gonna Do)

Wild ‘60s Boogaloo and Freakbeat from France

This fantastic French foursome is back with a new EP of 1960’s-inspired boogaloo, freakbeat and swinging R&B. Isabelle Lindqwister (from Rodeo Massacre) provides the title track’s guest vocal, but it’s the hot, soulful Hammond and driving rhythm section that really heats things up with the instrumental “Emma’s Theme.” There’s a new dance step stomp, “Do the Jungle Jane,” that perfectly transplants a riff from the Munster’s theme, and though the tempo slows for “Lion Club Boogaloo,” the temperature doesn’t drop a degree as the ride cymbal adds a soul-jazz backing to the organ’s heavy chords and throaty stabs. This band has so authentically recreated the mood of mid-60s discothèque, it’s almost scary. Available as a vinyl 7” (email the band for info) as well as a digital download. [©2011 hyperbolium dot com]

Towerbrown’s Facebook Page
Towerbrown’s MySpace Page
Towerbrown’s Blog

Towerbrown: Let’s Paint it Brown

Throwback ’60s R&B, Boogaloo and Freakbeat sounds from France

This recently formed French quartet has got the sounds of 1960s British R&B, Boogaloo and Freakbeat down, from their punch-in-the-gut mono mix to stellar organ and Fender Rhodes and tasty guitar solos. The Animals, Spencer Davis Group, Pretty Things and early Rolling Stones are obvious antecedents, with an emphasis on bluesy go-go beats that surely make Towerbrown a favorite for the dance floor. Three vocal tracks and the hard-swinging organ-and-guitar instrumental “Let’s Paint it Brown” make up the band’s 4-song debut EP. Available as a limited edition 7” single (email the band for info) or digital download, this one’s sure to keep you grooving. [©2010 hyperbolium dot com]

Towerbrown’s MySpace Page
Towerbrown’s Blog