I wrote a piece for this Website last year titled “The Forty Nineteens: An Appreciation.” My basic premise, after listening to all of their albums and viewing their performance clips on YouTube, was that they’d been passed the torch from the original Paul Revere & The Raiders…Paul, Mark Lindsay, Drake Levin, Phil Volk and Mike Smith. The only thing missing is the colonial outfits, but if you want to know where the heart, soul, grit, power and mojo of America’s greatest Garage Rock band of all time landed in 2020, look no further.
The best news of January 2020, by far, is that the new kings of American Garage Rock have aligned themselves with one of the most creative, adventurous and caring record labels in the country, Big Stir. This single is the first of additional promised projects to come, and it not only knocks the ball out of the park, it knocks it into the next damned county.
“Tell Me” starts off with four seconds of a sly crib of the lick from The Strangeloves’ / Bow Wow Wow’s “I Want Candy,” before kicking into the “na na na na na na na na na na na’s,” before kicking into lyrics that offer pure, unadulterated Mark Lindsay “stop and start” phrasing:
“She…was sittin’ all alone…she seemed upset…talkin’ on the phone…”
Don’t believe me? Pull any Raiders album from the shelf, give it a listen, and it will be right there waiting for you.
By the time we get to the “Tell, tell, tell me that you want me…tell, tell, tell me that you need me” chorus, which is straight out of the best BritPop / Shindig / Hullabaloo bands of the mid-to-late 60s,, you realize that these guys have pulled all of this off in less than two and a half minutes.
Because they can. It’s what they do, and they do it with very few peers in 2020.
The flip side, “It’s For Fun (It’s All We’re Living For)” begins with the band’s trademark humor:
“Let’s go to Detroit…”
“NOW yer TALKIN’ brother…”
No time is wasted climbing into the propulsive Garage rhythm, once again echoing the punk-y, tougher, hungry (no pun intended) original Raiders while sending a brothers of the road handshake to the one band I can name in the present that actually are their peers in terms of style and talent, Detroit’s own The Incurables. The song is hard-driving, no-nonsense, pedal-to-the metal attitude rock with a great lick in the “Just a little more” refrain.
Just a little more…just like me, just like us…get it?
Strap in and go along for this ride. This ain’t a single, it’s an event.