Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Girls In The Garage, Vol. 2 (1998)

There's just something about garage rock, y'know? Sure, there's all the standard lines like, "Punk before there was punk!", "Real Rebel Rock-n-Roll!", "The Original Punk Rock!" and "Manic Teenaged Frenzy Of Amped Up Angst!"

Okay, I made that last one up... But, it's easy to roll your eyes and just write off any garage CD as under-produced and over-hyped. And with the sheer volume of stuff trying to pass itself off as garage and/or punk these days, it would probably make life easier if you did. However, now and again you find a magic stone, a shining star... a "Nugget" if you will that lights up everything, and makes you glad you started excavating.

That, right there is the feeling I got from this CD. A measly $8 used, made me a very happy man, it has. While I wish I could find volume one just as easily, this second volume of the CD version of series is packed with gems.

Most of these ditties date back to the 60's, and cover the gamut of fairly standard girl group fare to politically charged folk. Each track is done with a certain style, a certain edge that sets it apart from the rest. Sometimes it's the oddness of the song, like "Jelly Belly" by Nai Bonet, which makes you feel like you're being reprimanded into belly dancing, or the sultry, insinuating but strangely nonsensical "Watermelon Man" by Karin Krough & The Public Enemies.

Other times it's the raw energy of tunes from the likes of Little Frankie ("I'm Not Gonna Do It"), Lindy Lane ("Low Grades & High Fever") or Pat Downey & The Vistas ("Real Live Lover"). No matter how you slice it, each track sets itself apart from the pack of it's more pop-friendly peers. A lot of these tracks would probably freak my mom out a bit. Co-workers who grew up in the 60's have mentioned how loud bands are nowadays when casually hearing this CD (I couldn't break it to them that these were their contemporaries...).

Even when the tune is a bit out of tune, flat or otherwise suffering from a technical defect, there's an earnestness there that just shines through (The Uncalled Four especially! Plus, it's a Go! Team sample!).

An amazing comp that never lets up or down. Highly recommended to anyone with a pulse.

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