Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Pop, Rock
Hot Wacks indeed, for the Wackers ditched the acoustic guitars of their Wackering Heights debut in favor of the harder edge their live shows wielded. In fact, they had a falling-out with producer Gary Usher during the albu... more »
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Hot Wacks indeed, for the Wackers ditched the acoustic guitars of their Wackering Heights debut in favor of the harder edge their live shows wielded. In fact, they had a falling-out with producer Gary Usher during the album?s mixdown because the band wanted a rawer sound. The most famous track on the album is probably their cover of John and Yoko?s Oh My Love, which mistakenly ended up on a Beatles bootleg...that gives you an idea of where this band?s heart lay.
An Oldie But A Goodie
Frank G. Muller | Atlanta, Georgia | 05/15/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Take The Beatles and Badfinger, throw in The Hollies, now add a dash of only the best things from The Monkees and you have an approximation of The Wackers. They are just one of many very creative and more than competent bands that fail to achieve mainstream success in spite of their talent.
I bought Hot Wacks on vinyl in 1972 when records were cheap enough that you could afford to take a chance on a band if the jacket looked interesting. It was the second album released by this virtually unknown band. I immediately loved it and it is still one of my all-time favorites. If you like 70's pop you'll enjoy this set.
The instrumentation and production will remind you of the Beatles and their proteges, Badfinger. The vocal harmonies will make you think of the Hollies. Many of the songs are perfect pop gems in the Boyce/Hart mold. Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart were song-writer/producers who wrote some of The Monkees bigger hits. On "I Hardly Knew Her Name", the album's first cut, the lead vocal even sounds a bit like Mike Nesmith. The band covers the John Lennon song, "Oh My Love", but manage to make it their own with the addition of a koto, a traditional Japanese stringed instrument.
Each song is as good as the one before and all of them are fun little upbeat pieces. Cuts 7 through 12 made up side 2 of the original LP and run together as a continuous ten minute suite.
I'd call this one highly recommended!"
The Wackers: What's Wrong with the music biz
Gary A. Pighetti | The Intellectual Hub of the US | 08/23/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Like Frank, I bought vinyl in '72 due to a review in Rolling Stone. This is one of the most brilliant albums, taken as a complete work, of this period. The Wackers are another example that the air or water in Canada grows great musicians.Unfortunately it proves the rule that more good music dies unknown than bad music gets attention.
Although the mix is a little muddy compared to the best, my guess is that the studio was using the typically crappy transistorized amps which had to be toned down because when recorded accurately, they sounded like fingernails on a blackboard.
From my perspective, the arrangements on Hot Wacks are inspired. Given the influences that Frank alludes to, Hot Wacks manages consistently to exceed its antecedents, sometimes by a country mile. The vocals float above the backing tracks, which are deceptively simple and incredibly tasty at the same time.
And, not to offend John and Yoko aficionados, the Wackers do a far more than adequate rendition of "Oh, My Love." Whereas Lennon's version is a plaintive realization of his love for Yoko, which seems to lament his previous ignorance, the Wackers' cover celebrates with tenderness the dawn of a new relationship: the first realization that one truly loves their new squeeze. Choose which seems a more honest or inspired interpretation, but don't dismiss The Wackers' because they had the guts to cover an "untouchable" song; they suceed on their own merits.
One personal note: as a power pop drummer during this era, I find the drum parts especially noteworthy: never obtrusive, nor overbearing or timid. The Wacks' drummer epitomizes the "Ringo Starr Theory of Rock Drumming: Play exactly what needs to be played, but play not a lick more." This is true of The Wackers' bump and thumper with the added delight of far superior technique that Ringo, God bless him, did not find as important as excellent musicianship.
I weep for all the bands and performers that sank into obscurity without a blip on music's radar screen: The Wackers, Music Machine, Jules and the Polar Bears, The Records, Bram Tchaikovsky, Television, Nick Drake, the Syd Barrett Pink Floyd.
The music biz:
Moroons without taste or shame,
Moroons to a fault,
and few others to the contrary.