Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Top 5 60's revivalists!

The last decade has seen a plethora of new pop bands following a retro vibe.
Most of these groups of late have emulated the likes of 'ACDC', 'Led Zeppelin', and 'The Beatles' on occassion, but rarely seen is a charting band paying tribute to some of the music from one the best decades rock has seen.
Here is a guide to 5 of the best and most underated groups showing off their strong 60's influences:

1. Yo La Tengo.

This New Jersey trio has been around since the late 80s, evolving their unique sound throughout each album. Some of the early albums envoke a strong 'Velvet Underground' vibe, whilst listening to anything they've released in the last 8 years, one could hear elements of 'The Beach Boys', 'The Kinks', and 'The Byrds'. They obviously impressed Ray Davies so much to warrant his invitation of backing him for a tour in 2000!

Suggested listening: 'I am not afraid of you and I will beat your Ass', 'Summer Sun'

2. The Lilys.

One of the greatest musical crimes of the last few years is that 'Lilys' frontman Kurt Heasley is not a household name. At first listen to the groups 1996 album 'better can't make your life better', one would believe the music is straight out of 1966.
At this stage of their career, the band sound distinctly like 'Rubber soul' era Beatles with Ray Davies single lead vocals.

Suggested Listening: 'Better Can't make your life better', 'The 3-way'

3. XTC.
Andy Partridge. Another true underated genius released several albums from the late 70s through to modern times, with post-punk group 'XTC'.
Although they started out with a rough punk edge, there was always a catchy melodic undertone to all their work, and by the mid 80's the groups sound was evolving into a beatlesque vision of psychedelia, and Brian wilson inspired pop.
In 1985 they launched a faithful tribute to the 60's under the pseudonym 'The Dukes of Stratosphear', which was recorded entirely with vintage 60's instruments and recording equipment.

Suggested Listening: 'The Dukes of Stratosphear', 'Skylarking', 'Oranges and lemons'.

4. The Wondermints. This group deserves mentioning alone for participating regularly in Brian Wilsons' backing band. Wondermints' keyboard player Darian Sahanaja is also one of the prime instigators of Wilson returning to his lost beach boys' epic 'Smile', and finally releasing a re-recorded version in 2003.

Suggested Listening: 'Bali', 'Wonderful world of the Wondermints'.

5. The High Llamas.
Another group that have been around for several years, with band members often working with the likes of 'Stereolab', and 'Jim O'rourke'. Led by genius Sean O'hagan, almost all of the groups releases are heavily Brian Wilson inspired, perhaps acting as though they themselves were 'The Beach Boys' circa 1966 in a parallel universe.

Suggested Listening: 'Hawaii', Snowbug', 'Can Cladders'.

The Great Brian Wilson