Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Alternative Rock, Special Interest, Pop, Rock
A virtually worthless collection of garage rock scraps
Laszlo Matyas | 06/10/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"The third volume of the There Goes the Neighborhood series brings together live recordings from four different 60s garage bands. Now, while these groups may have been capable musicians with good studio recordings, their stage shows were apparently full of dull, derivative performances. Most of these songs are by-numbers covers of other people's hits: The Mad Hatters are represented by their version of the R&B standard "Time Is On My Side," in which they attempt to emulate the Rolling Stones' famous version, right down to Mick Jagger's sneer. The result is a boring and unoriginal tune that sounds like something produced by a second-rate bar band. The group's version of "Satisfaction" is a little better: They plod their way through the song with real energy and enthusiasm. However, it's still a pretty uninteresting performance, marred by the usual lack of originality as well as an incredibly boring "extended rave-up section," which is essentially the song's main riff being played over and over again, interupted only by the occasional drum roll. In other words, it sounds like the band forgot how to end the song. Their version of "Mickey's Monkey" (a Motown classic originally performed by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles) is about the closest thing on this CD to a genuine garage rock gem- there's real excitement in the song's bouncing rhythms and inarticulate vocals. Still, the group goes on for way too long, throwing in an uninteresting guitar solo for "good" measure. The final Mad Hatters track, "What's Your Hurry," is just plain weird: It consists of some announcer making a few weird jokes, the introduction of a different band, random crowd noise, and a thirty second song fragment. It doesn't even have novelty value. The next six songs are from a show by the Sting Rays. Following an unutterably stupid introduction by some local D.J. (who predicts that the 'Rays are "gonna make it all the way to the top"), the group rips into an absolutely awful rendition of "Fun Fun Fun." There is a certain train-wreck appeal in their disasterous attempts to reproduce the Beach Boys' trademark harmonies, as well as the dreadfully out-of-tune guitars, but that's about it. The band performs dreary, uninteresting renditions of "You Can't Do That," "Mr. Moonlight," and "Love Potion Number 9" before returning to so-bad-it's-almost-funny territory with two shambling, passionless, and incompetent Beatles covers. Up next are the Apollos, who provide a nothing-special instrumental called "The In Crowd" and a phoned-in version of "California Girls." The Briks are energetic, but similarly unentertaining: Their "It's Not Easy" sounds like dull, generic blues rock, and their cover of the Rolling Stones' "Let's Spend the Night Together" is too stiff to be fun. This edition also includes two CD-only "bonus tracks." The first is a radio interview with Kenny Dino of the Mad Hatters. Kenny himself sounds bored out of his mind, the interviewer is a complete square, and the subject matter ranges from excruciatingly uninteresting to horrendously dated (the interviewer admits that he can see no difference between the Beatles and the Dave Clark Five). There's a little bit of kitsch value, but that's about it. The other bonus track is a thirty-three second radio spot that features an excerpt from the Mad Hatters' "I Need Love," a single that'd trump anything on this collection. Again, this track has novelty value, and does provide insight as to what local radio sounded like back in the mid 60s, but that's about it. The liner notes are alright, with decent band histories- they also implicitly admit that the featured bands' studio recordings are far more interesting than these live takes. However, there are no pictures (except for the four on the cover) or commentary on the individual tracks. The result is a boring, pointless, and occasionally weird collection that will barely be of interest to anyone, even garage rock completists."