Friday, February 1, 2013

Untuned wonders

Some garage songs are so primitive it's almost ridiculous, other can seem like barely having been practised before the band have entered the recording studio. There's no doubt that the price for rental of a recording studio when cutting a record can put a big pressure on highschool teenagers, who rather would let the guitar stay out of tune, than to have to pay for the next hour of studio time. Don't forget either that unless your band was named The Beatles, in the 60's most recordings were done live, with perhaps an overdub of vocals(and in some occurrences a lead guitar). Sometimes this can lead to a directness and a healthy nervousness, that could lead to an interesting recording. Not having ambitions for global success, ain't no obstacle for a killer recording either - far from - check out for example the joy of playing to Dean Carter in their cover of Jailhouse Rock(with the strangest(and funniest) harmonica technique I've ever heard, that probably would ruined their chances of commercial success), when the guitar solo gets off. You can practically see the grin of the guitarist, when the madness reveals. Here is some of the best there is..

Dean Carter - Jailhouse Rock(1967)
Champaign, Illinois, USA, Milky Way 886m-0111
(listen here)

North Miami Beach, Florida, Tiara 100
(listen here)

It seems that the bass player's E-string has gone totally out of tune. The funny thing is that in addition the bass is so loud in the mix, that it's by far the most dominating instrument. The melody though is something of the best I've heard. Listen to this song more than two times in a row, and be prepared to let it haunt you the entire night.

Lansford, Pennsylvania, USA, Burr 1001
(listen here)

Making sounds with glass bottles was always fun. This static background "singing" is unlike anything else put on record. The lyrics isn't bad either.. "I bought myself a submarine".. "If you're ever down by the sea, take a look for me... Captain Dueseldorph"..

Modds - Leave My House(Previously Unreleased)
Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
(listen here)

Fighting in the band, or a ego trip from the guitarist and vocalist? I'm having a wild guess that the the vocalist and lead guitarist are the two on the left in the picture above.
This recording make "Raw Power" sound well balanced volume wise. There's nothing bad to say about the fuzz-sound and the guitarist's enthusiasm however.

Jack The Ripper - One Way Streets(1966)
Zanesville, Ohio, USA, Sunrise 103
(listen here)

A hilarious cover of the Screaming Lord Sutch & The Savages original.
Sounds like the lyrics are partly improvised when the mother of the vocalist comes into the practice-room/studio and nags them about that the dinner is ready. Great mix between the dark tale of Jack The Ripper and a fight with mum.

The Rats  - The Rat's Revenge Part 1(1963) og Part 2(b-side)
Akron, Ohio, USA, Black Cat 502
(listen here)

The name The Rats' was only used for this single. Their real name was The Decades. As The Decades they released "C'mon Pretty Baby"(Janie JL 10645/10646) in 1964.
There's two parts of Rat's Revenge splitted on the a and b-side. That the year of release is as early as 1963 for such a rough garage-punk song is quite unique. The highlight is when one of the Rats says "Don't play with your feet this time", in Part 2, where a somewhat flawed start on the guitar solo, is answered with a disgusted grunt.

"I like you. And when Eric Von Zipper likes someone, they stay liked."

The song is based upon the Beach Party(1963) movie, having a total of 4 follow ups, where the Ratz was a not too bright motorcycle gang, led by Erik Von Zipper.

Sur Royal Da Count & The Parliaments - Scream Mother Scream(1967)
USA, Villa Yore 606

Not much to add other than that these guys were seriously into not being serious. If you listens beyond the jokes it's actually a brilliant song.

The Barking Spyders - I Want Your Love(1966)
Dallas, Texas, USA, Audio Precision 45001

Not too bothered with tuning the bass guitar, this group get right to it. And even if the bridge almost collapses, they keep going. The vocalist are great, and reminds of an even more laid back cool and sedated version of Lou Reed.

And last but not least, the king of garage rock: The Keggs - Girl.

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