Fruits De Mer do it again! Boxed set of 7 x 7” singles featuring current bands covering their favourites US '60s psych tracks.
The concept of tribute LPs has over the years has given us tracks which add insight and new slants on classic songs, (along with the occasional misguided stinker). Fortunately this boxed set of 7” singles from Fruits De Mer Records gets it right with the bands themselves choosing which acts and songs they cover.
There's a definite labour of Love (no pun intended) vibe about the whole thing; coloured vinyl, limited to 700 copies, housed in a card box, with an insert fold-out poster. It's certainly ticked all the boxes on the packaging front but more importantly the music has a freshness that highlights both the enduring quality of the original songs as well as the talent of the bands that are re-interpreting them.
The Bevis Frond kick things off with Clear Light's Night Sounds and Sand, with Nick Saloman's guitar solos as gloriously free and unhinged as ever. The Higher State choose 13th Floor Elevators for their versions of Wait For My Love and You Don't Know, both tracks bolstered a palpable sense of joy in covering them.
A stand-out pairing is The Chemistry Set covering Love. Tackling any song from Forever Changes is a brave step for any band but the version of A House Is Not A Motel reason enough to shell out for this box-set, with its blistering duelling guitar section. Sendelica sound like a cross between Grace Slick and The Isley Brothers on their version of The United States Of America's Hard Coming Love. A good thing surely!
King Penguin opt for The Byrds with a sumptuous, string laden version of She Don't Care About Time and a version of 5D (Fifth Dimension) that adds some sitar and tabla to the chime and vocal harmony that the track is best known for.
Elsewhere The Gathering Grey make the most of studio trickery and effects for their versions of Moby Grape's I Am Not Willing and Sitting By The Window. Echoed drums and backwards guitar just two examples of the sonic touchstones they employ.
Black Tempest and The Seventh Ring Of Saturn share the final 7”, covering Spirit and The Grateful Dead respectively. Black Tempest's version of Nature's Way owes as much to Robyn Hitchcock and Neil Young as it does to Spirit, while Cream Puff War sees TSROS make fine use of a wah wah pedal and guitar histrionics. A mighty triumph from Fruits De Mer Records once again.
Limited to 700 copies.
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