Posts Tagged ‘ 1965 ’

The Savages “Live ‘N Wild”

Live N Wild

Good rock n roll is supposed to move you emotionally or “blow you away.” Great artists like Bob Dylan or the 13th Floor Elevators have always been brutally honest, searched for meaning and never gave in to commercial demands. Many years ago rock n roll was powerful because it never made any promises. Recordings were murky, guitars distorted and trebly and vocalists were love-struck gods. The Savages Live ‘N Wild album is one of the great holy grails of rock music.

Very few of these albums were pressed, and as time went on Live ‘N Wild only became harder to come by. The Savages created a private press album that possesses clarity, vision and originality. The group cut the album live in Bermuda, 1965. The sound quality and musicianship is excellent, sounding like many studio cut garage albums of the day. The only low point of the album is a competent cover of the Drifters classic, On Broadway.

It’s rare for a private press garage album to mainly consist of originals, let alone good originals (9 of the 12 songs). Like the Rising Storm, the Savages effectively mixed slow moody folk-rock-like compositions with garage raunch. The most famous number here is a garage-punk classic, The World Ain’t Round, It’s Square. It’s an aggressive, trebly mess with angry, tormented screams and is by far the heaviest song amongst the batch.

Quiet Town is very introspective and mysterious, sounding like a 1965 lost Zombies single which hints at the darkness within. Kudos has to be given to the Savages for covering the great Icelandic band Thor’s Hammer with He’s A Man. The Savages version may best the Hammer’s for sheer recklessness and soul. Two other numbers, Gone To The Moon and I Believe are naive teenbeat that glow with sincerity and show a band with a lot of heart.

This is really what rock n roll is all about, cutting straight to the heart. These guys must have been garage kings amongst the affluent who resided in Bermuda. In a perfect world they would have been millionares. The proof is within this stunningly great, lost record.

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“Quiet Town”

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The Downliners Sect “The Country Sect”

Country Sect

Sandwiched in between two great mod punk/garage blues albums and some classic singles is Country Sect, the Downliners Sect’s second album released way back in 1965. This is one of the earliest country rock records and most definitely the first by a British band.

When the album was released it met with critical backlash and was considered a commercial suicide. Listening to this music today, 40 plus years later, it sounds fresh and unlike anything in the country rock canon. Just imagine four or five drunk Brits playing their favorite old country and blues songs in the basement (essentially a monumental country album made in the garage with genuine redneck spirit) but with focus and intensity.

The intensity reaches a peak with an excellent country blues cover Rocks In My Bed. This composition is raw as hell and feature’s some old fashioned piano and crazied Don Craine screaming. Hard Travellin’ is similar in mood and is a life affirming sh*t-kicking country rocker. Also, Ballad Of The Hounds, Above And Beyond and Wait For The Light To Shine really capture that backwoods sound effectively and some other numbers are even augmented with banjo and washboard. They throw in a sensitive folk-rock protest number with Little Play Soldiers and hark back to their British Invasion roots with the mysterious, uncertain Bad Storm Coming.

These guys were really one of the ultimate punk bands; they did what they pleased and made no apologies. You can hear and feel this attitude throughout the album. Country Sect is so special, so different, it’s the kind of record that is misunderstood more often than most. Give it some time though and you’ll hear why musicians like Billy Childish rave about the Downliners Sect and this superb album.

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“Bad Storm Coming”

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