If you're feeling nostalgic for the ‘60s, there are a couple releases out this month that might take you back… Rhino Records has reissued the third and fourth classic albums from The Monkees in deluxe two-disc packages. Headquarters and Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. marked the group's internal move in 1967-68 from being soley a TV creation to trying to be an actual band. As the boys took the creative reins of their music over from Don Kirschner, they recorded the hits “The Girl I Knew Somewhere,” “A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You,” “Words,” and “Pleasant Valley Somewhere,” which appear on these two reissues along with literally dozens of bonus tracks. Each album comes in both its stereo and mono versions, along with various alternate mixes of the songs cut during the sessions.
Going Way Out with Heavy Trash
The last time someone used this much reverb on a recording may have been Buddy Holly!
Heavy Trash – the invention of singer Jon Spencer (of Blues Explosion) and guitarist Matt Verta Ray (of Madder Rose) – reinvents the “be-bop-a-lu-la” sound in spades on Going Way Out… with the help of a parade of backing session musicians, including Canada's The Sadies.
From the Holly-esque stuttering hiccoughs of “Kiss Baby” to the Johnny Cash low-voiced shuffle of “That Ain't Right,” (a musical flipside companio to “I Walk The Line”) Heavy Trash's second album canvasses the twang and rockabilly sounds of the past with crackling, loving energy.
All of the songs here owe big debts to Sun Studios era hits of the past from Cash, Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis and more – you can't listen to “Crazy Pritty Baby” without thinking of Eddie Cochran's classic “Summertime Blues.” They acknowledge the purveyors of psychobilly rock past in one of the disc's most upbeat singalong tracks "They Were the Kings.”
But rather than analyzing where this or that bit of echoing riff was knicked from, the fun of this disc is just letting it thump and grind with hipster howls through your brain. This is Shake, Rattle & Roll for the new millennium – super low-fi garage-rock rockabilly that knows how to put back a shot of whiskey without dislodging the low-slung cigarette.
By the time the disc ends with its 13th track, the beat-poet twang-guitar backed spoken word experiment “You Can't Win,” you may have dug out your motorcycle jacket and pomade.
Dig it, ba-baaa-by!
For more information on the band and to hear song samples, check their site at www.heavytrash.net.