Wednesday, January 03, 2018

The Tell Tale Hearts - 517 Fourth Ave (EP)

After leaving the Crawdaddies, bassist Mike Stax teamed up with Ray Brandes (vocals), Bill Calhoun (organ), Eric Bacher (guitar) and Dave Klowden (drums) to form the more garage/Pretty Things-oriented Tell Tale Hearts - combining their love for early 60's, white boy R'n'B with fuzz-filled, mid-60's garage r'n'r. These San Diego-ites filled dance floors all over the west coast with well-dressed, long-haired 60's fanatics, groovin' to their frantic sounds. This EP is the debut release of their first, 1984 recordings, done live in Studio 517. The sound is rough'n'raw, a bit muddy, but with plenty of power'n'energy, as the group had in their raucous shows.

Their fuzz-filled take on the Topsy Turby's "Hey Tiger" is even more smokin'n'powerful than the original, whereas they tone done the Wig's "Crackin' Up" a tad (just a tad) to swing a bit more and not be as recklessly anarchic as the original, although no less energetic. They're pretty respectful to the Malibu's "Cry" - although Klowden's drumming is mighty intense - and the original "(You're A) Dirty Liar" is a Them-influenced piece of wildness with a hip middle breakdown (dig the guitar/bass trade-off!) that breaks back into a crazed, rave-up ending!

The Hearts were one of the originals and were among the top of the heap in the 80's garage scene. Terrific stuff! I believe that this is a limited edition so grab it while you can! (Line notes by Greg Prevost, too!)