Monday, June 06, 2016

The Sloths - Back From the Grave

I've been reporting on the Sloths for their Las Vegas ventures and have been diggin' their updated takes on the 60's garage that they helped to create with their Back From the Grave compilation hit "Makin' Love", recorded in 1965. The current line-up includes original Sloth Mike Rummans on bass (he also plays guitar) along with 60's peer Tommy McLoughlin on vocals and harp, Ray Herron on drums, LA stalwart (he of many bands and ex-of Flipside Magazine) Pat DiPuccio (Pooch) on guitar. This CD also includes guitar/bassman (he and Mike would switch on stage) Mark Weddington.

This CD has plenty of 60's garage influences, but also hints of 70's punk rock, power pop, 50's rock'n'roll and more. Mike and Tommy write the originals but there are a few cool covers here such as the opener, Holly Beth Vincent's new-wavey-rock'n'roll "Never Enough Girls" and Jerry McCain's 50's blazer "A Cutie Named Judy". "End of My Rope" always reminds me of the Pirates swaggerin' pub rock, with it's call'n'answer groove and wailin' harp solo, and "Everybody's Tryin' 2 B Somebody" continues in this vein with its starts'n'stops and poundin' piano. The band has a cool video for "One Way Out", a mostly spoken tale of life's trials and tribulations, then they talk about another deadly sin in the fast-paced "Lust" (with a smokin' solo) and complain about day jobs in "Gotta Get Fired". "Haunted" is a moody 60's garage number, reminiscent of other great minor-key 60's hits, "Before I Die" is a heavy, slide-guitar-dominated, blues-rock answer to Pete's "hope I die before I get old" and "Wanna New Life" is a choppy, guitar chord-riff garage rocker. They close with an update to their classic, Bo Diddley-influenced "Makin' Love", showin' that they haven't lost anything in the ensuing years.

No, they're not trying to duplicate their original sound, as they know that a number of decades have passed since then, but they still provide some hard edged, garage punk'n'roll.