Sunday, February 13, 2011

Out of the Bachs - The Bachs

Out Of The Bachs
The Bachs
Void 49

Perhaps the most celebrated DIY album of the 1960s, it is really good but not worth the small fortune it will cost you if you buy an original copy assuming you can actually find one.  This is a re-issue.  It is a remarkable record, astonishingly sophisticated for a high school garage band.  I suppose if you have the nerve to name your band after J. S. Bach, you are not likely to stick to "Louie, Louie" covers.  This album is unusually sensitive and eclectic, it is hard to imagine much of it being played at a high school dance or a frat party.  Every song is written by group members Blake Allison and John Peterman and they are strikingly original.  The lyrics are pretty awkward, but I prefer unusual pretentious lyrics to dumb banal ones which is typically what you get with self-penned garage band songs.  Musically this is way beyond the usual Yardbirds/Stones knock-offs of so many 60s garage bands - a very nice mix of folk rock and psych that reminds me of the first Love album.  I particularly like  "Tables of Grass Fields," "Free Fall," "My Independence Day," "I'm a Little Boy" and "Minister to a Mind Diseased," which features some truly weird lyrics that the group apparently were quite proud of since they printed them on the back cover.  The recording quality is abysmal, tinny with heavy echo, it sounds like it was recorded in a subway tunnel.  Despite this handicap, the quality of the music still shines through.  It is a shame this was their swan song, it is such a promising and interesting record.  You could do a lot worse in 1968.  Recommended for fans of the Pebbles series who wish the groups on there were a little less derivative and a little more smart.

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