Tuesday, June 14, 2005

The best 3 garage singles of the 80's.....

….not made by the bands that I’ve already listed and that I don’t play on!

Lyres – Help You Ann / I Really Want You Right Now
I always preferred DMZ to the Lyres – I dug the high energy and loud guitars of Monoman’s 70’s group, and I didn’t think the Lyres were nearly as consistent song-wise. But this single is one of the best things to come out of the 80’s!
"Help You Ann" starts with a heavily tremeloed, great guitar chord-riff and when the band kicks in, this song is driven full-tilt and never stops! Catchy as all fuck – it is nearly impossible to get this song out of your head once you’ve heard it – this builds to a super climax and shows what this band was capable of!
The flip - "I Really Want You Right Now" - is slightly more subdued, but still an intense piece and the repeating call & response of the end sends Monoman almost to the point of talking in tongues! Wow! If the rest of their output had been like this they would have been unstoppable!

The Fuzztones – Bad News Travels Fast / Brand New Man
I’ll admit I have been a bit jealous of the popularity that the Fuzztones managed to achieve, but they did work hard at it! Rudi is still going at it to this day – well over 20 years later. He always had rockin’ musicians in the bands and never stopped pushing. Personally, I thought that he was sometimes a bit over the top, especially with his “non-stop-sex” persona – for me that wore a little thin at times – but obviously it has worked for him! The Fuzztones were probably the only 80’s garage band to sign with a major and they toured with more bands and played more festivals than probably anyone else I know!
To me, this single shows the groups at its best. Sure, the lyrics are still caveman-esque, but cleverer than average and the music rocks!
"Bad News Travels Fast" steals the basic riff to the Sonics “Cinderella” yet still comes off as original and the sound is great and the band cooks through the entire thing – with screams, cool harmonica and rippin’ guitar solo!
"Brand New Man" is more of a fuzz stomper, either live or with added “audience sounds”, but whichever, it works! And it’s actually about a girl leaving rather than the other way around!
These two tunes are excellent all the way around - playing, sound, songwriting, singing - and this is what should have put these guys on the map!
This isn’t to say that nothing else that the Fuzztones did is worth listening to – because there are plenty of other rockin’ moments in their huge catalog! – but for me this is the best of what this band was going for!

The Lime Spiders – Slave Girl / Beyond the Fringe
"Slave Girl" totally blew me away when I first heard it! An amazing, heavy, pounding, rockin’ riff drives this tune to the edge with the singer growling his way through and when ya think it can’t go any farther, the lead guitar comes positively screaming through your brain! Despite all the chaos, you can still sing along and this is another song that you’ll never forget once you’ve heard it!
Unfortunately, nothing could follow that recorded explosion and though "Beyond the Fringe" does its best, it is just not nearly as memorable or ferocious. But one absolute classic song is more than most bands can claim and Slave Girl will go down in history as one of the best of this time!

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