Thursday, September 24, 2009
The Chesterfield Kings - The Mindbending Sounds of the Chesterfield Kings - 2003
The 1966 Album of the Year has finally been made, and leave it to those champions of all things fuzztone and paisley, the Chesterfield Kings, to achieve this feat a mere 37 years after the fact. Only a fool would try to argue that the Chesterfield Kings aren't one of the more derivative bands currently walking the Earth, but after mining the rich vein of garage rock raunch and freakbeat wailing since 1979, Greg Prevost and Andy Babiuk have been able to synthesize their influences into songs that sound like lost relics of the pre-hippie era, and they can re-create the sound and fury of the Epoch of Teenage Sneer with an truly uncanny accuracy. Depending on what song you cue up, the Chesterfield Kings could be conjuring up the shade of the Electric Prunes, the Chocolate Watchband, the Seeds, Love, the Troggs, or any number of other mid-'60s guitar bashers on The Mindbending Sounds of the Chesterfield Kings, while Prevost's vocals sound more like Mick Jagger than Jagger himself has since Emotional Rescue. While it would be easy for this stuff to sound like a parody after a while, the Chesterfield Kings are committed enough to their time tunnel vision of rock & roll that they manage to ape the passion and swagger of their influences as well as their choices of guitars, amplifiers, effects boxes, and wardrobe, and no one gets the details of this period quite as right as this band. With the passage of time, Prevost and Babiuk have matured into capable songwriters as well, and if you groove on classic garage sounds, it's hard not to be impressed by the Kings' obsessive accuracy. Of course, they're just close enough to their influences that it's hard to say if you wouldn't be better off with a copy of the Nuggets box set, and unlike the similarly obsessive Flamin' Groovies, they've never written a song that's become a classic in its own right like "Slow Death" or "Shake Some Action." But if you're frustrated in your search for the great lost Litter album, The Mindbending Sounds of the Chesterfield Kings will tide you over in the meantime.
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Posted by Curty Ray