Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Pretty Things – Get the Picture?

One of the rowdiest, crazed, longest-haired, r’n’b bands from the 60’s is the fabulous Pretty Things! Their early works are legendary and have been reissued in this series with bonus tracks. Again, I am late picking these up, but damn, what amazing releases! This one is their second album and is a wild follow up to their debut!

This CD starts with the folky “You Don’t Believe Me” before moving into heavy r’n’b guitar blasts in “Buzz the Jerk”. Lots of the band’s most intense and well known numbers appear on this CD. The title cut is a fuzz-drenched masterpiece that has been covered by an uncountable number of bands. “Can’t Stand the Pain” alternates from a slow, minor key tune to an upbeat raver and I just noticed that DMZ totally ripped this off for one of the songs off of their album.

The bands covers many trad r’n’b songs as well, such as “Pain in My Heart”, “I Had a Dream”, “I Want Your Love”, etc. These are given the PT twist and all are terrific white boy versions!

More PT classics include “We’ll Play House”, the extended jam of “Get a Buzz” and the unbelievably great “Midnight to Six Man”. This is high energy r’n’b and a perfect example of just how quick these cats were becoming stunning songwriters! “Me Needing You” shows that they can move closer to traditional blues, as well.

“Gonna find me a Substitute” is another monster with the positively frightening bass tone which presages “Come See Me”. This is a wild, rockin’, lead-guitar infested, jumpin’ piece! But their most insane and fiercest rocker has to be “Come See Me”. Starting with a brontosaurus stomp of an over-driven bass, they go positively nutz with piercing guitars accentuating the choruses, wild call-and-answer vocals, and insanely noisy guitars! Wow! I can’t even comprehend what teens must have thought when these degenerate looking long hairs took the stage and screamed this at them!

This CD closes with “L.S.D”, their extremely garage-y paen to the then still legal drug! Another oft-covered work of genius!

All of the early Pretties releases are “must haves” and this is one of the best! The CD has some bonus video footage, as well. Get the Picture? Get it!