Sunday, January 24, 2010

Merv Benton - Yield Not To Temptation 7" USA Marvel GHGA 401, 1965

Here's the American issue of Merv Benton's seventh single, and the only one to be released outside Australia. I suppose many find Merv to be a bit of a suited square - I don't mind some of his mid period gear and he did cover some unusual songs.

Backed by the Tamlas, this is a good, gutsy version of a Bobby Blue Bland track. On the plus side is the big sound, good vocals from Merv, cool organ, and handclaps. The jury is out, however, on the dollybird chorus providing backing vocals. As a device this can work: see for example some of Mike Furber's Kommotion stuff; or it can distract from an otherwise cool track - I'm thinking of Tony Barber's Wait By The Water. I'll give it a pass on this one, it's a little shrill for my ears.

Issued in Australia in a picture sleeve by W&G (WG-S-2432).

Friday, January 22, 2010

Clefs - Bring It To Jerome 7" GRE Leon LE107, 1967

One of the most unknown overseas pressings is this Greek release of an already obscure Adelaide recording originally on Melbourne label Phono Vox. The general commentary attached to this is "How the hell did this get a Greek release?," and I suppose I'd like to know the answer too.

A good, driving r&b workout with plenty of punky attitude evident. Of course being the Clefs the organ is upfront, though not overly so - guitar and bass get equal time.

The Greeks, as is their wont, flipped the backside and frontside. A Boy Like Me, the Australian A-side, is an organ driven number, and it's alright. Hear both sides here, where there's also photos and history of the band.

Cherokees - I've Gone Wild 7" NZL Salem XS115, 1967

I love a song with just two, two-line verses; then third verse - same as the first. But Melbourne's Cherokees' finest moment has so much more - rollicking punk rhythms, guitar (or rudimentary electronics, or theremin or something) freakouts, screams, plaintive pleading.

An old garage taxonomist once observed "if it mentions 'brain,' it's punk; and if it mentions 'mind,' it's psych". Here we have "Feel what you've done to my brain" and "Please let out of my mind", so I suppose we have punk/psych. No arguments here.

Regular Australian release on Go!!, here's the NZ issue on Salem who put out a handful of Go!! records there. Hear it on Ugly Things Volume 2.