The Contents Are “Through You”
The Through You lp was little more than rumor til a copy mysteriously appeared at a 2005 Austin record show. Contents Are were a garage folk-rock band from Quad City, Iowa that released two good 45’s and this 1967 private press album. It’s remarkable that the band were still in high school when they cut this lp as both the lyrics and musicianship are quite advanced.
In true DIY fashion the band pressed 100 copies of Through You and gave the lp’s away to eager fans who came to Contents Are live events. It’s a solid record to say the least, with influences coming from early Buffalo Springfield, the Byrds and Rubber Soul era Beatles. Through You is full of good, 3 minute pop songs and it’s the kind of record that saw the beat/garage and folk-rock sounds merge. One song, Peace At Last, has complex lyrics and a wonderful mid period Beatles-like chorus. No Chance To Choose is another excellent, dark folk-rocker that strongly recalls John Lennon’s Rubber Soul compositions and hints at psychedelia. There are a few hard rocking tracks such as the opening, fuzzy Country Roads but most of this record is predominately folk-rock. Other good standouts are the folk-rock downers Dream Of My Predictions and Reccuring Changes, which feel like lost Gene Clark compositions in lyrical content and sound.
For many the highlight was In Trouble. This track is notable for beautiful back porch harmonies, jangly guitar and a distinct, rural Buffalo Springfield sound. It’s the kind of song that makes searching for private press records worth all the trouble and grief. Through You’s sound quality is a little muddy and probably will not be of interest to those who like clean, sparkling major label glitz. But to those wanting to explore buried local sounds, this is a great record that’s bound to grow on you.
In 2007/2008 Shadoks thankfully released both vinyl and CD versions of this long forgotten album.