Friday, May 04, 2018

The Lyres - On Fyre

Coming from the legendary Boston 70's raw'n'ragged punk/garage combo, DMZ, Jeff "Monoman" Conolly then formed the Lyres, a much cleaner'n'poppier 60's-styled group that has undergone many permutations, with other members of DMZ coming'n'going throughout the years. This 1984 release was the first album by the band and contains some of their most enduring tunes.

Conolly's keys vie with the guitars punchy (though super clean) chords in the edgy 60's garage of "Don't Give It Up Now" and then comes one of the best garage tunes of the 80's, the tremelo'd guitar-dominated "Help You Ann" - superbly catchy with a ravin' energy and a great, guitar-chord-hook. The New Colony Six's "I Confess" is given a pretty faithful'n'fine reading, while in "I'm Telling You Girl" the band does some wacky alt-rhythms but still maintain a memorable tune, and side one of the album closed with their, again, pretty faithful take on the Kinks "Love Me Till the Sun Shines".

Side two opens with a more original version of, once again, the Kinks, in an off-time "Tired of Waiting" that still retains the initial melody'n'coolness, the repetitive, mid-tempo "Dolly" follows, then the somewhat 50's-ish, 1-4-5 progression of "Soapy". More cool, tremelo'd guitar in "The Way I Feel About You" before the closing "Not Like the Other One", with its neat guitar lick, fine song-writing and insistent chorus.

It's funny how big of a difference there is in the sound between the wild'n'wooly'n'heavy DMZ and the Lyres, while still mining similar material. I've often said that the east coast 80's garage bands were far more poppy than the west coast's more punky/Crampsian groups, but then, that might be why the east coast bands garnered more popularity. In any case, a great record and one of the top 80's garage groups!