Posts Tagged ‘Garage Rock’

The Masonics: Obermann Rides Again

Saturday, February 25th, 2017

Ferocious Medway rock ‘n’ roll

Fans of Thee Headcoats, Mighty Casears and Prisoners will rejoice at the ninth album from this all-star Medway band. Fronted by ex-Milkshake Mickey Hampshire on guitar, and backed by drummer Bruce Brand (Pop Rivets, Milkshakes) and bassist John Gibbs (Kaisers), the Masonics offer the perfect combination of unpolished garage rock and blues-based melodies – something you might call rough ‘n’ roll. Even the ballad “I Don’t Understand Her Any More” isn’t exactly tender, with Hampshire pleading his case as more of a complaint than a concern, and the Animals-like “What Do You Do” providing a sobering, after-the-fact look in the mirror. The trio channels Bo Diddley’s rhythmic stomp in “You Don’t Have to Travel” and “The Unsignposted Road,” crank up the tempo to amphetamine punk for “You’re a Stranger,” and nail the combustible tension of the early Who with “You Won’t See Me Again.” The band’s energy is relentless as Hampshire picks guitar solos and Brand rides his cymbals, creating music that’s perfect for a sweaty, overcrowded beer-stained venue near you. [©2017 Hyperbolium]

The Masonics’ Facebook Page

The Royal Hangmen: Hanged, Drawn & Quartered

Sunday, December 4th, 2016

royalhangmen_hangeddrawnandquarteredPysch-edged garage rock from… Switzerland?

If you ever stopped to think about Swiss garages, you probably imagined super clean floors and tools neatly aligned on a pegboard. But The Royal Hangmen (who shouldn’t be confused with the plebeian UK and US Hangmen) have shoved all that aside and dialed up fuzzed-out guitars, thumping drums and VOX organ. Well, actually, they hightailed it to Hamburg where the atmosphere was no doubt more conducive to recording 60s-styled garage rock than Zurich. They’ve parlayed their beginnings as a cover band (which also spawned the fine EP Hell Yeah: An 80s Garage Tribute) into original material that recalls the Shadows of Knight, early Stones and the seemingly endless stream of one-off Pebbles bands.

The Royal Hangmen aren’t unprecedented in Alps-rock history, as period Swiss garage bands included The Sevens, Nightbirds and Bad Generation. There are also contemporaries like the Come n’ Go and at times The Animen, but none capture the sound of ‘65 and ‘66 (or perhaps even more so, the ‘80s revival sound of the Lyres and Fuzztones) as do the Royal Hangmen. Vocalist Vasco Saxer has the attitude to sell epithets like “you got no soul,” and the guitars and organ have just the right tone. The group dips into ‘60s beat with the instrumental “Groovadelic,” riffs on a Yardbirds bass line for “Go Away Baby,” and turns psychedelic on “Step Out of the Dark” and “Feed the Monkey.” Great stuff! [©2016 Hyperbolium]

The Royal Hangmen’s Home Page

The Fleshtones: The Band Drinks for Free

Saturday, October 22nd, 2016

fleshtones_thebanddrinksforfreeThe garage door is open and the organ’s plugged in

Forty years and twenty albums from their founding, New York’s Fleshtones are still cranking out garage-powered rock ‘n’ roll. Even more impressive than the length of their career is its consistently high quality amid a lack of commercial acclaim. Though the band parlayed its New York City club following into a deal with IRS, soundtrack placements, an American Bandstand appearance (alongside the band War!) and college radio play with 1983’s Hexbreaker!, it never added up to mainstream success. Which makes their perseverance and adherence to a core musical vision all the more admirable.

The band’s seventh album for Yep Roc puts their guitar, bass, drums, organ and harmonica to everything from a cover of the Hondells’ surf ‘n’ drag-themed “The Gasser” to Peter Zaremba’s original blues “The Sinner” and Keith Streng’s gothic soul “Respect Our Love.” Ten Years After’s “Love Like a Man” is taken uptempo with a psychedelic party vibe, and the excess that sparked the late-70s back-to-basics movement is suggested in the title “Rick Wakeman’s Cape.” Rock music may no longer be in the commercial limelight, but it still retains its punch, particularly in the hands of masters like the Fleshtones. [©2016 Hyperbolium]

The Fleshtones’ Facebook Page

Psycotic Pineapple: Live 1978

Saturday, June 18th, 2016

First-ever release of this 1978 live set by Berkeley’s own Psycotic Pineapple. Limited edition of 250 cassette-only copies. See them live June 25-26, 2016 at the Burger Boogaloo in Oakland, California. Also on the bill: The Lyres, Real Kids, Mummies, Flamin’ Groovies, Young Fresh Fellows and more!

Holy Bouncer: Hippie Girl Lover

Saturday, May 28th, 2016

From Spain, an interesting combination of ’60s and ’70s influences that include the Doors, Who, Stones and a helping of garage rock. This is the title track from their forthcoming full-length album.

Holy Bouncer’s Facebook Page

In Memoriam: 2015

Saturday, December 26th, 2015

Ben E. King, 1938-2015

Listen to a selection of artists on Mixcloud or Spotify

January
Little Jimmy Dickens, country vocalist and guitarist
Andrae Crouch, pastor and gospel vocalist
Curtis Lee, vocalist (“Pretty Little Angel Eyes”)
Ray McFall, nightclub owner (The Cavern Club)
Popsy Dixon, vocalist and drummer (The Holmes Brothers)
Tim Drummond, bassist (Bob Dylan, Neil Young, CSN&Y)
Bill Thompson, manager (Jefferson Airplane)
Trevor Leonard Ward-Davies (aka “Dozy”), bassist (Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Titch)
Ervin Drake, songwriter (“It Was a Very Good Year”)
Kim Fowley, producer, manager, songwriter and vocalist
Ian Allen, culture jammer (Negativland)
Dallas Taylor, rock drummer (CSN&Y)
Ward Swingle, vocalist (The Swingle Singers)
Edgar Froese, keyboardist (Tangerine Dream)
Rose Marie McCoy, songwriter (“I Beg of You” “Trying to Get to You”)
Joe Franklin, radio and television host
Neil Levang, guitarist (The Lawrence Welk Show)
Stephen R. Johnson, music video director (“Sledgehammer”)
Danny McCulloch, rock bassist (The Animals)
Rod McKuen, poet, songwriter and vocalist
Don Covay, vocalist and songwriter (“Chain of Fools”)

February
Joe B. Mauldin, rock ‘n’ roll bassist (The Crickets)
Thom Wilson, engineer and producer (Offspring, Dead Kennedys)
Sam Andrew, rock guitarist (Big Brother and the Holding Company)
Mosie Lister, gospel vocalist and songwriter (The Statesmen Quartet)
Gary Owens, disc jockey (KEWB, KFWB, KMPC) and television announcer
Steve Strange, new wave vocalist (Visage)
Leslie Gore, pop vocalist and songwriter
Clark Terry, jazz trumpeter and flugelhornist
Bobby Emmons, keyboardist and songwriter (“Luckenbach, Texas”)
Tod Dockstader, electronic music composer
Leonard Nimoy, actor, poet and vocalist

March
Orrin Keepnews, record executive and producer
Brian Carman, surf guitarist (Chantays) and songwriter (“Pipeline”)
Albert Maysles, documentarian (“Gimme Shelter”)
Lew Soloff, trumpeter and flugelhornist (Blood, Sweat & Tears)
Jerry Brightman, pedal steel guitarist (Buckaroos)
Eugene Patton, stagehand (“Gene Gene the Dancing Machine”)
Wayne Kemp, vocalist, guitarist and songwriter (“One Piece at a Time”)
Jimmy Greenspoon, rock keyboardist (Three Dog Night)
Daevid Allen, guitarist and vocalist (Soft Machine, Gong)
Bob Parlocha, jazz radio broadcaster (KJAZ)
Don Robertson, songwriter (“Please Help Me I’m Falling” “Ringo”)
Andy Fraser, rock bassist and songwriter (Free)
Samuel Charters, music historian
Michael Brown, songwriter and keyboardist (The Left Banke)
A.J. Pero, rock drummer (Twister Sister)
Miriam Bienstock, record company executive and theatrical producer
Al Bunetta, manager (Steve Goodman, John Prine)
John Renbourn, guitarist and songwriter (Pentangle)
Preston Ritter, rock drummer (The Electric Prunes)

April
Cynthia Lennon, author, first wife of John Lennon and mother of Julian
Dave Ball, rock guitarist (Procol Harum, Bedlam)
Doug Sax, audio mastering engineer (Doors, Rolling Stones, Who)
Robert Lewis “Bob” Burns Jr., drummer (Lynyrd Skynyrd)
Ray Charles, vocalist, songwriter and arranger (The Ray Charles Singers)
Milton DeLugg, musician, arranger, conductor and composer
Stan Freberg, comedian, parodist, broadcaster, advertising executive
Keith McCormack, vocalist, guitarist and songwriter (“Sugar Shack”)
Bill Arhos, television broadcaster and founder of Austin City Limits
Percy Sledge, vocalist
Billy Ray Hearn, record company executive (Myrrh)
Wally Lester, doo-wop vocalist (The Skyliners)
Sid Tepper, songwriter (“Red Roses for a Blue Lady” “G.I. Blues”)
Suzanne Crowe, actress and percussionist (The Partridge Family)
Jack Ely, rock ‘n’ roll guitarist and vocalist (The Kingsmen)
Steven Goldmann, music video director (Faith Hill’s “This Kiss”)
Ben E. King, vocalist and songwriter

May
Guy Carawan, folk musician and musicologist
Errol Brown, vocalist and songwriter (Hot Chocolate)
Rutger Gunnarsson, bassist (ABBA)
Johnny Gimble, western swing and country fiddler
Stan Cornyn, music industry executive (Warner Brothers, Reprise)
B.B. King, blues guitarist, vocalist and songwriter
Bruce Lundvall, record company executive (Blue Note, Angel, Manhattan)
Twinkle (Lynn Annette Ripley), pop vocalist and songwrite
Louis Johnson, bassist (The Brothers Johnson)
Johnny Keating, songwriter and arranger
Jim Bailey, vocalist, actor and impressionist (Judy Garland, Peggy Lee)
Julie Harris, costume designer (A Hard Day’s Night, Help)

June
Jean Ritchie, folk vocalist, songwriter and dulcimer player
Dennis Ferrante, recording engineer (John Lennon, Harry Nilsson)
Ronnie Gilbert, folk vocalist and songwriter (The Weavers)
Paul Bacon, album cover designer (Thelonious Monk, Chet Baker)
Randy Howard, country vocalist and songwriter
James Last, composer and bandleader
Johnny Keating, composer and arranger (“Theme for Z Cars”)
Jim Ed Brown, country vocalist and songwriter (The Browns)
Ornette Coleman, jazz saxophonist and visionary
Monica Lewis, jazz and commercial vocalist (Chiquita Banana)
Stephen Blauner, agent, manager and producer
Phil Austin, actor, comedian, writer, musician and radio broadcaster (The Firesign Theater)
Harold Battiste, saxophonist, arranger and composer
Wendell Holmes, guitarist and songwriter (The Holmes Brothers)
James Horner, film score composer, conductor and arranger (Titanic)
Chris Squire, bassist and songwriter (Yes)
Bruce Rowland, drummer (Grease Band, Fairport Convention)

July
Red Lane, country vocalist and songwriter
Roy C. Bennett, songwriter (“Red Roses for a Blue Lady” “G.I. Blues”)
Jerry Weintraub, film producer, manager, promoter and vocalist
Ernie Maresca, vocalist, songwriter (“Runaround Sue”) and record company executive
Michael Masser, songwriter (“Touch Me in the Morning”)
Tom Skinner, red dirt vocalist and songwriter
David Somerville, vocalist (The Diamonds)
Doug Layton, radio personality and Beatles boycotter
Buddy Buie, songwriter (“Spooky” “So Into You”) and producer
Van Alexander, composer, arranger and bandleader
Wayne Carson, songwriter (“The Letter” “Always on My Mind”)
Dieter Moebius, electronic music pioneer (Kluster, Brian Eno)
Theodore Bikel, actor, vocalist, activist and composer
Don Joyce, writer, producer, actor and radio broadcaster (Negativland, Over the Edge)
Vic Firth, percussionist and percussion stick maker
Buddy Emmons, pedal steel guitarist
Lynn Anderson, country vocalist

August
Cilla Black, vocalist, actress and media personality
Ken Barnes, author and producer
Billy Sherrill, producer, songwriter and arranger
Don Kent, blues historian and record label owner
Gary Keys, documentarian and concert producer
Bob Johnston, producer (Bob Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel) and songwriter
Danny Sembello, producer and songwriter (“Neutron Dance”)
Joy Beverley, vocalist (Beverley Sisters)

September
Owen “Boomer” Castleman, vocalist and guitarist (Lewis & Clarke Expedition), inventor (Palm Pedal)
Rico Rodriguez, ska and reggae trombonist (Specials)
Hal Willis, country vocalist (“The Lumberjack”)
Frederick “Dennis” Greene, vocalist (Sha Na Na)
Augusta Lee Collins, blues drummer, vocalist and guitarist
Smokey WIlson, blues guitarist
Gary Richrath, rock guitarist and songwriter (REO Speedwagon)
Peggy “Lady Bo” Jones, rock ‘n’ roll guitarist
Ben Cauley, trumpeter (Bar-Kays)
Wilton Felder, saxophonist and bassist (Jazz Crusaders)
Frankie Ford, vocalist (“Sea Cruise”)
Phil Woods, jazz saxophonist (“Just the Way You Are”)

October
Big Tom Parker, disc jockey (KFRC, KYUU, K101, KOIN, KMGI, KXL)
Dave Pike, jazz vibraphonist
Smokey Johnson, drummer (Fats Domino) and songwriter
Billy Joe Royal, pop vocalist (“Down in the Boondocks” “Cherry Hill Park”)
Gail Zappa, widow of Frank Zappa and trustee of the Zappa Family Estate
Larry Rosen, producer and label founder (GRP)
Steve Mackay, saxophonist (The Stooges)
Hal Hackady, lyricist and and screenwriter (“Let’s Go Mets!”)
Steve Gebhardt, filmmaker (“Ladies and Gentlemen, the Rolling Stones”)
John Jennings, musician and producer (Mary Chapin Carpenter)
Cory Wells, rock vocalist (Three Dog Night)
Arnold Klein, dermatologist (Michael Jackson)
Leon Bibb, folk and theater vocalist
Nat Peck, jazz trombonist
David Rodriguez, vocalist, songwriter and father of Carrie Rodriguez
Herbie Goins, R&B vocalist

November
Tommy Overstreet, country vocalist
Chuck Pyle, country vocalist, guitarist and songwriter
Eddie Hoh, session drummer (Donovan, Monkees, Mamas & Papas)
Charlie Dick, widower of Patsy Cline and record promoter
Andy White, drummer (The Beatles’ “Love Me Do” and “P.S. I Love You”)
Martin Beard, rock bassist (Sopwith Camel)
Allen Toussaint, musician, songwriter and producer
Phil Taylor, drummer (Motörhead)
P.F. Sloan, vocalist, songwriter and producer
Al Aarons, jazz trumpeter (Count Basie Orchestra)
Ramona Jones, fiddler (Hee Haw)
Mack McCormick, musicologist and folklorist
Norman Pickering, engineer and inventor (Pickering phonographic stylus)
Arthur Brooks, vocalist (The Impressions)
Cynthia Robinson, trumpeter (Sly and the Family Stone)
Ronnie Bright, doo-wop vocalist (Valentines, Coasters, “Mr. Bassman”)
Wayne Bickerton, songwriter, producer, label executive and bassist
Buddy Moreno, big band vocalist, bandleader and radio host

December
Alex Cooley, promoter (Atlanta International Pop Festival, Mar Y Sol)
Scott Weiland, vocalist and songwriter (Stone Temple Pilots)
John Garner, drummer and vocalist (Sir Lord Baltimore)
Marque Lynch, vocalist (Lion King, American Idol, Mickey Mouse Club)
Franz “Franzl” Lang, German yodel king, accordionist and guitarist
Bonnie Lou, country vocalist and television performer
Gary Marker, bassist and engineer (Rising Sons, Captain Beefheart)
Rusty Jones, jazz drummer
Luigi Creatore, songwriter and producer (“The Lion Sleeps Tonight”)
Adam Roth, guitarist (Jim Carroll, Del Fuegos)
Snuff Garrett, producer (Gary Lewis & The Playboys)
William Guest, R&B vocalist (Gladys Knight & The Pips)
Takeharu Kunimoto, shamisen player and bluegrass musician
Stevie Wright, pop vocalist (The Easybeats)
John Bradbury, drummer (The Specials)
Lemmy Kilmister, rock vocalist, bassist and songwriter (Motörhead)
Joe Houston, R&B saxophonist
Natalie Cole, vocalist and daughter of Nat “King” Cole

Hypercast #6: In Memoriam 2015

Friday, December 25th, 2015

A collection of music from some of the artists who passed away in 2015.

Billy Joe Royal Down in the Boondocks
B.B. King Early in the Morning
Bonnie Lou Friction Heat
Ben E. King (The Drifters) Save the Last Dance for Me
Don Covay Come See About Me
Errol Brown (Hot Chocolate) Emma
Don Joyce Crystal’s Snowdrift Disco Bar & Thrill
Jack Ely (The Kingsmen) Louie, Louie
Leonard Nimoy Highly Illogical
Kim Fowley The Trip
Buddy Emmons Witches Brew
Cory Wells (Three Dog Night) Mama Told Me Not to Come
Jean Richie Dulcimer Pieces
Johnny Gimble Lone Star Rag
Little Jimmy Dickens Me and My Big Loud Mouth
Lynn Anderson Flattery Will Get You Everywhere
Curtis Lee Pretty Little Angel Eyes
David Somerville (The Diamonds) Little Darlin’
Ronnie Bright (Johnny Cymbal) Mr. Bass Man
Frankie Ford Sea Cruise
Allen Toussaint Everything I Do Gonna Be Funky
Lew Soloff (Blood, Sweat & Tears) Spinning Wheel
Ramona Jones Whiskey Before Breakfast
Chuck Pyle Rio Rey
Cilla Black Conversations
Michael Brown (The Left Banke) Pretty Ballerina
Rod McKuen Jean
Percy Sledge Warm and Tender Love
Lesley Gore I Don’t Want To Be a Loser
Johnny Keating Theme From Z-Cars
Ward Swingle (The Swingle Singers) The Little Fugue
Jim Ed Brown Pop-A-Top
Owen Castleman Judy Mae
Scott Weiland (Stone Temple Pilots) Creep
P.F. Sloan Halloween Mary
Dave Pike Jet Set

Them Howling Bones

Monday, December 7th, 2015

Scorching hot blues-rock from the garage, with shades of Cream, George Thorogood, ? and the Mysterians and Lonnie Mack, with some of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ menace thrown in for good measure. This LA combo sounds like something Wolfman Jack would have played on XERB to terrify your parents. Check out a few tracks below!

Them Howling Bones’ Home Page

The Royal Hangmen: Hell Yeah! An 80s Garage Tribute

Sunday, November 8th, 2015

RoyalHangmen_HellYeahReviving the garage rock revivalists

Garage rock has turned out to be a gift that keeps on giving. The original mid-60s singles movement was recognized in the writings of Lester Bangs and Greg Shaw, and memorialized in 1972 on Lenny Kaye’s Nuggets. The sounds continued to echo ever more scratchily in the follow-on avalanche of Pebbles, Boulders, Back From the Grave, Girls in the Garage and their myriad peers, and the ethos took root among the DIY punk movement of the late-70s. By the early 1980s, a full-blown revival was underway, and over the succeeding decades, the sound has morphed and been reborn around the world.

Enter Zurich’s Royal Hangmen, who released their first demos in 2006, the single “Mary Jane” in 2009 and their self-titled debut LP in 2012. Their latest 4-song EP salutes the first wave of garage revivalists, including covers of the Chesterfield Kings (“She Told Me Lies”), Wylde Mammoths (“Help That Girl”), Miracle Workers (“I’ll Walk Away”) and Cynics (“Yeah!”). Just as the first-wave revivalists stocked their sets with covers of obscure singles from the 1960s, the Hangmen have selected their material with a connoisseur’s ear for the revivalists’ originals, and recreated the same sort of sweaty reverence these sides deserve. There are some great memories here, given a fresh shot of fuzz by the Royal Hangmen. [©2015 Hyperbolium]

The Royal Hangmen’s Home Page

The Buckinghams: The Complete Hit Singles

Friday, September 11th, 2015

Buckinghams_TheCompleteHitSInglesThe original recordings, but not the original mono singles

It took Chicago’s Buckinghams five tries to crack the singles chart. Their second single, a 1966 cover of James Brown’s “I’ll Go Crazy,” bubbled under, but their fifth release, “Kind of a Drag” raced up the Billboard chart to sit in the top spot for two weeks in February 1967. The group continued to chart through 1969, with their last entry, “It’s a Beautiful Day,” creeping up to #126. In between, they clicked with four more pop icons in 1967, “Don’t You Care,” “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy,” “Hey Baby (They’re Playing Our Song” and “Susan,” and posted several lower-charting singles – all of which are included here – on the charts.

The Buckinghams built their initial success with six superb singles and an album on the Chicago-based U.S.A. Records label. The album was released in both mono and stereo, but the singles, which were aimed at AM radio, were released only in mono. Varese has included all six of the A-sides, but, as has generally been the case for the Buckinghams in the digital age, the less impactful stereo mixes are used. Apparently Sony (who owns the recordings) wouldn’t or couldn’t produce the mono masters. And that’s a shame, as the wide stereo mixes dissipate much of the energy conjured by the hot mono singles. Also a question mark is the last of the group’s U.S.A. singles, “Summertime,” which is offered at the album’s 3:53 length, rather than the single’s reported 2:17 edit. Perhaps only the DJ single was edited, but if so, it would have made a nice inclusion.

The group moved to Columbia Records, where they produced three albums and nine singles, the latter of which are included here, again in stereo. The one novelty among the Columbia material is an edited version of the hit “Susan.” Originally issued with a thirty-second instrumental freakout inserted by the group’s producer, the single was reissued in edited form, and it’s the latter that’s included here. Beyond the hits scored for Columbia, the group had several fine singles that charted lower or not at all, including “Back in Love Again” (which turned up the following year as a “moldy oldy” on Chicago’s Kiddie-A-Go-Go!), the bubblegum soul “Where Did You Come From,” light-psych “This is How Much I Love You” and two more non-LP sides.

Other than “Susan” (and the inclusion of “Summertime”), these recordings appear to be the same as released on the earlier Mercy, Mercy, Mercy compilation. What distinguishes this set from Mercy are the stereo mixes. When Mercy was produced, a number of tracks were remixed by Vic Anesini; Varese asked Sony for the original period mixes, and assuming that’s what they received, they’re a great addition to the group’s digital canon. The absence of original mono singles, particularly for the U.S.A. sides, merits a more accurate title for this collection, but the 12-page booklet includes rare photos and excellent liner notes by Clark Besch, and Steve Massie’s remaster sounds great. [©2015 Hyperbolium]

The Buckinghams’ Home Page