Bob Kuban & the In-Men
Look Out For the Cheater
Musicland Records 3500
Produced and Arranged by Mel Friedman
Mostly known for the title track that opens this sole album from this one-hit St. Louis outfit, the set doesn’t really begin until they get through that number, the album featuring several cuts that put the title track to shame, including some convincing covers of R&B classics, a pair of rocking versions of soundtrack themes (Virginia Wolfe and Batman), and perhaps the first version of Hazlewood’s “These Boots Were Made For Walking” told from the male point of view, all of this punched home with horns, guitar, organ and of course a driving rhythm. The sound is a bit of a throwback, as much R&B as 1966 garage rock, the band sounding like they’re taking their cues from Stax, JB, and Ike.
For the title track and some of the other more low-key cuts, Curtis Mayfield appears to be the main influence.
This is a varied set but it’s a worthwhile listen if you can find it. (Heck, the cover is almost worth the price of admission.)
—Winch (author of Kalamazoo: Growing Up Sideways in the 1970s and the two-part novel Junk Like That.)
T. Swift & the Electric Bag
Are You Experienced
At its best, this album is a second-rate version of Booker T. and the MGs, acid rock but a bit out of time, still showing the garage and freak-out sounds of the mid ’60s. In other words, this is great stuff.
If you can make it past the duds, there’s plenty to enjoy. “Free Form in 6” is a fairly classic acid-rock instrumental, as is the cover of “The Letter” (Box Tops), this wordless version cleverly called “A Jet.”
Another worthwhile exploitative outing from the City of Angles.
— Winch (author of Kalamazoo: Growing Up Sideways in the 1970s and the two-part novel Junk Like That.)
Crown CST 384
Good Shit *****
With the wave of surf music cresting, the Southern California kids jumped in their hot rods and revved off to explore other sports (Duane Eddy offering a set of waterski songs and in Colorado the Astronauts were downhill skiing), most of the California kids who stuck around for the party focusing on hot-rod rock. And of course we had to have cycle rock which motored along very much in the same style.
This is perhaps the only album dedicated completely to this silly genre, half of the album featuring silly vocals, the other half coming out of the surf instrumental, here with motorcycle sound effects.
This was complete nonsense of course. what rock and roll is all about, what the Beatles killed with their watered-down version of American R&B. Apparently, this is another Jerry Cole outing, simple as a two-stroke, one of the greatest album to ever come out of California.
— Winch (author of Kalamazoo: Growing Up Sideways in the 1970s and the two-part novel Junk Like That)
King Louie: One Man Band
Goner Records (Memphis)
One-man stomp from Mr. Bankston, the man from N’orleans, recorded by Jay Yuenger. Another set of noteworthy 21st century garage.
Lend You a Hand
Kill Rock Stars
Proving that Girl Town ain’t just a bunch of nurd glasses and torn panties, this Olympia outfit puts ’70s hard rock through the punk-rock wringer, backs the Dodge van into the garage, the power-booster punched, the jams from the Supertuner blasting through a pair of speakers they stole from the drive-in, the Alice Cooper Group, AC/DC and even Led Zeppelin at their most basic, this band sporting their influences like patches on a jean jacket. Another noteworthy set from the 21st Century.
— winch (author of Kalamazoo: Growing Up Sideways in the 1970s and the two-part novel Junk Like That.
The Little Killers
The Little Killers
NYC garage stomp, the guy doing the lead vocals, the first of two sets, the sound coming from the South but with that East-Coast R&B swagger, taking cues from the best years of rock and roll: 1954 – 1963.
— winch (author of Kalamazoo: Growing Up Sideways in the 1970s and the two-part novel Junk Like That)