Kenny and the Kasuals “Things Gettin’ Better/Nothing Better To Do”
Rock’s heyday is usually acknowledged to be from 1963 to 1975 or 1976 – just before the punk era (beginning with the Beatles and ending with the best work of early punk bands such as Television, Patti Smith, Simply Saucer, 76 era Flamin’ Groovies, The Ramones, Saints and so forth). This statement can definitely be argued though, as the original first wave of rock music during the mid 1950’s and postpunk era has its admirers. Rock during the mid to late 60’s and early 70’s was much different though. There was no MTV (I can’t think of any good bands MTV supported/produced anyway!) and rock musicians relied on radio heavily. This went doubly so for regional bands trying to crack the big time.
The Lone Star State’s Kenny and the Kasuals were a great regional band. During the 60’s they released numerous singles (7) and a live album from 1966. The garage reissue renaissance of the early 80’s saw two Kasuals albums released, consisting of their singles and outtakes. Their sound was similar in style to the Remains, crunchy and cool with that ringing guitar texture. They also outlasted the great Remains, heading straight into the psychedelic age. At times they pushed the garage label/tag, with excellent, thoughtful lyrics and instrumental virtuosity. There are numerous garage classics, psych punk epics, and solid good ole rock n rollers sprinkled throughout these two albums.
The highlight for many though, is Journey To Time. It’s truly one of the great texas acid punk singles beginning with thick fuzz bass and carrying on with angry, growling vocals, classic hallucinary lyrics and an ace psych guitar solo. This is Texas’ version of I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night by the Electric Prunes mixed with the Sons of Adam’s smoking Saturday’s Son. Come Tomorrow, Raindrops to Teardrops and Strings of Time are all first class garage rockers from the mid 60’s that Remains, early Rolling Stones, Zombies or Blue Things fans will cherish. The few covers of Money, It’s Alright (The Kinks) and You Make Me Feel So Good (The Zombies) are well executed and original too, full of good harmonies, fuzz and individual style.
Kenny and the Kasuals eventually morphed into the psychedelic Truth. This band released one solid, trippy single which is also included on this 2 for 1 album. For all it’s virtues and wondrous qualities it’s astonishing that Things Gettin’ Better/Nothing Better To Do is out of print.
“Journey To Time”
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