Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Outta the Nest
Genres: Alternative Rock, Blues, Pop, Rock
One of THEE and THE great rock albums of the last 20 years
Fran Fried | Fresno, Ca. United States | 08/22/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"That's both THEE, as in a '60s garage-rock affectation, and THE, as in a definitive. I recently went back and bought the enhanced CD version of The Vipers' debut album (originally released Christmastime '84 on vinyl on the PVC label) so I could more readily show my LP-lacking friends in Fresno what they've been missing these past two decades. Surprise! -- even though I knew the disc by heart, it was a mad, wild experience all over again listening to the CD cranked on the computer's surround sound.
In the late '90s, Vipers frontman Jon Weiss was as responsible as anyone for the latter-day garage resurgence as the creator of the Cavestomp! music festivals in NYC (1997-2001), conjuring by alchemy a host of legendary acts we never thought we'd see in person (? and the Mysterians, The Remains, The Pretty Things, The Chocolate Watchband, Richard & the Young Lions, The Standells and most especially The Monks) and putting them on bills with neo-garage bands past, present and future (Fleshtones, Lyres, Plasticland, Chesterfield Kings, Fuzztones, The Swingin' Neckbreakers, The Mooney Suzuki and yes, The Vipers, too). And that's why Steve Van Zandt gives Weiss his propers every week on his radio show.
But back in the '80s, Weiss, a onetime Fleshtones saxman, was the gangly, youthfully nasal-voiced, maracas-wielding leader of a quintet that absorbed the sounds of many '60s rock, blues and psychedelic records, found out where the over-the-top point was, and then climbed over it, simple as that. Anyway, they had a cool, sleek name and, on this album, a sound to more than back it up.
The opening tune, "Nothing's From Today," with its chiming guitar opening the door into another dimension ... truth is, I preferred the original version (which appeared on Voxx Records' "Battle of the Garages Vol. 2" LP months before), with its dag nasty fuzz guitar intro; the "Outta the Nest" remake was maybe too clean. But looking back, it was a nitpick -- and besides, the enhanced CD has both takes. Then, there was the convincer -- track 2, "Now I Remember," an explosion of sight, sound, mind, drums, chimes and Eastern-influenced guitar madness, sent far over the wall midway through with a wailing scream from Weiss. The rest was just dessert (and just deserts): the brutal-nasty fuzz guitar line that provided the kick to The Standells' "Medication"; the romp-stomp of The Loved Ones' "Surprise Surprise"; the poppy, full-on, near-insane swirl of "Tellin' Those Lies"; "Cheated and Lied," which sounded like the theme to a '60s secret agent series; "Borrowed Time," commenced with a Middle Eastern guitar curlicue that set the tone to another agent-series-theme-in-wait; the appropriately gloomy overtones of "Dark as My Day" and "Not to Be in Love"; and the band's most sensitive song, the smart strummer "Tears (Only Dry)."
In its time, this was a 12-song record that went 12-deep. (The enhanced CD has eight bonus cuts, including the aforementioned original "Nothing's From Today," the ace stomper "Doin' It Well" and a rough version of "We're Outta Here" used as a flexidisc with Ron Rimsite's legendary garage zine 99th Floor.) But -- pick your favorite hot stove league reason -- "Outta the Nest!" didn't bust out beyond its rabid but limited audience. And sadly, for several reasons, this was good as it would get for The Vipers, who were done by the end of the '80s.
But good music is eternal; Weiss and music fiends like him have certainly demonstrated that over the years with their zeal to expose the great rock'n'roll of the '60s to the audience it deserves. Maybe someone should do the same good turn for The Vipers and get this disc and listen to what they've missed and then spread the word ..."
A blast from the (near) past
Ted E | 02/16/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Superb garage rock in a melodic vein. Fans of the Cynics, Fleshtones, Lyres, etc. will be suitably impressed. Extra tracks make an already formidable album even better."
Amazing Harmonies and Garage Fuzz!
Ted E | New Brunswick NJ | 10/22/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"WOW -- what a great collection of tracks by this great Garage act from NYC's "Cavestomp" days. This has almost all the material they ever recorded & it starts off really strong with the album it taks it's title from. Excellent recording and playing on this. The only drawback is near the end of the cd both suffer, and there's even a stylistic shift to more down-tempo and 'blues' sound - but the majority of the disc is tight and well-produced Sixties Mersey beat influenced Garage Pop well worth the price."