The Wackers “Hot Wacks”
Hot Wacks is unquestionably the Wackers best album. Although at times a bit derivative of Abbey Road era Beatles (there’s even a side 2 suite), Hot Wacks is really a lost power pop gem.
In 1971, the Wackers released a strong debut, lushly produced by Gary Usher. While Usher was no doubt a great producer, some may find his production on Hot Wacks a little too slick. The songs and performances save the day though, and show the band maturing at a rapid rate. Bob Segarini, one of the band’s founders, had been in Family Tree and Roxy prior to forming the Wackers. He’s still on the scene today making albums, and if push comes to shove, I’d say that his other two masterpieces are Miss Butters by Family Tree (1968-) and Gotta Have Pop which is a solo effort from the late 1970’s.
With Hot Wacks, Segarini and the Wackers’ Beatles obsession reached an apex. On vinyl, the side two suite is very good with some superb harmonies and tight songcraft. Anyone who enjoyed Shake Some Action or Now era Flamin’ Groovies will love this album. The early 70’s psych pop (distorted vocals) of Find Your Own Way and the catchy, sensitive accoustic rocker Time Will Carry On are definite highlights of this medley. Side 1 has a power pop masterpiece in We Can Be. It’s everything you would hope from an underground band like this, a great epic guitar riff and Segarini’s wonderfully gritty, soulful vocals. Even the John Lennon self-analyzing classic Oh My Love is a killer cover, performed with care and panache.
Anyone interested in power pop or Beatles-influenced bands should pick this album up and delve a little deeper into the career of Bob Segarini. A critical assessment of this lost figure is long overdue.
mp3: Oh My Love
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