Monday, September 8, 2008

The Satelliters - Hashish - 2004


The fifth album by the Satelliters evinces little in the way of creative growth, and in this brand of retro garage rock, that's a good thing. The Satelliters are far more than Germany's answer to the Hives, because this five-piece cares less about the pose than the sound: perfect doses of fuzztone guitar, just-so stabs of piercing Farfisa organ, and snaky hand percussion fill all of the songs. Interestingly, however, the covers aren't perfect replications of the originals (including the Association's "Five Man Band" and We the People's "You Byrn Me Up and Down"), but rather, smoking rave-ups on comparatively effete originals that these days somehow sound more "authentic" than the originals. The one comparative flop in this regard is a suitably snotty take on the Small Faces' "Wham Bam Thank You Mam" that unfortunately doesn't match the mod stomp of the original. The band's own songs fare much better, particularly the yowling "Go Away," which matches the aggression of the early Pretty Things, and the organ-driven hard psychedelia of the closing "1969: The End of Time." -AMG

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