Friday, August 11, 2017

Q65 - Revolution

Formed in 1965, Q65 were a Dutch R'n'B/Garage band that became one of the more prominent bands of the Nederbeat scene and, in the 80's garage revival, became one of the most covered and imitated groups outside of the US (particular thanks goes to Mike Stax for exposing the west coast to these cats). Their innovative arrangements and sometimes vicious lyrics were a template for many bands and they continue to sound fresh to this day.

On this, their first album, they churn out some of their best known tunes right from the start. With half-step slides'n'raw riffs behind snotty vocals'n'wailin' harp, "They Life I Live" tells their tale of "us vs. them" that all long hairs around the world dealt with at this time. From there we get another of their best, the Bo Diddley inspired, maraca-driven "I Got Nightmares" - hard-edged, staccato guitars, starts'n'stops, maniacal laughs and more twisted lyrics makes it understandable why so many groups did this one, as well! Showing a bit of a psychedelic tilt, the Moroccan influenced (as opposed to maraca influenced!) "Just Who's in Sight" follows, giving us their version of Raga-Rock. Their R'n'B side comes through on their cover of "Mt. Pitiful" (complete with horns), their love of the Yardbirds is apparent in "I'm a Man", and "Middle-Age Talk" is an acoustic blues that goes off the rails when singer Willem calmly tells his woman that the only way to get rid of him is to "cut my brain into a thousand pieces"! "Summer Thoughts From a Field of Weed" is a raw, psych number with some Big Brother-like leads, "Down in the Bottom" is a ravin' take on Howlin' Wolf's version of "Rollin' and Tumblin'", "Get Out of my Life, Woman" is the fantastic, swampy Alain Toussaint number, they make "Spoonful" a fine, acoustic slide blues (totally dig the guitar playing here), there's an odd, melancholy accordion'nmandolin'n'acoustic guitar ballad in "Sour Wine" and the vinyl album closed with an extended, throbbing "Bring It On Home", peppered with stingin' slide leads, guitar riffin', vocal wailin' and plenty of dynamics.

There are four bonus cuts on the CD, another acoustic ballad, "Where is the Key", an Arthur Brown-ish piece of psychedelia in "Voluntary Peacemaker", another of their greatest, the amazing, drivin', intense riff-rocker, "It Came To Me" - this is just mind-blowing! A fast paced, repetitive guitar lick that keeps going despite anything happening around it until it breaks down to just drums and harp followed by a smokin' lead, back to the riff and a wild call'n'answer rave-up ending! Whew! The finale is another Howlin' Wolf number, "How Many More Times", retitled as "No Place To Go", for no discernible reason - nicely done though, with more razor-sharp slide work.

Anyone who digs 60's rock'n'roll should be a Q65 fanatic! If you don't know them, get them! This is a great starting place.