Revolutions Reinvented / Cleopatra 2015
Reclaiming their legacy, Californian cult heroes opt for a DIY reproduction of their classics to give ’em shine and serve ’em justice.
When this collective broke up in 1970 after a 5-year run, they felt a lot of resentment. Fine musicians, the quintet didn’t get to play on their own records so much as, while they were away on a touring treadmill, producers had hired hands do the job. So, since the band’s reformation in 1999, they’ve been harboring the hope to show those not able to attend the veterans’ concerts how it can and should be done. That’s why, delivering on the promise of THE KINKS’ cover which gave title to their post-millennial collection, the group don’t update the classics but rather restore the original arrangement in all their garage glory.
Yet the result isn’t patinated in any way, “Expo 2000” opening it all with a herculean twang before the piece’s cinematic surf gets cut with a fresh fuzz, and the Diddley beat of the sitar-kissed “Gone And Passes By” finds the old-time sneer feeding into the nihilism of today. There’s also a sharp edge to the bass-heavy chug of “Don’t Need Your Lovin’” – a twin-axe follow-up to “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” of sorts – but, while Tim Abbott’s guitar on “No Way Out” rides the mariachi despondency into the sunset, the unchanged David Aguilar’s voice on “Misty Lane” and “Are You Gonna’ Be There (At The Love-in)” proposes an infectiously youthful stroll into the future.
This future may not hold a lot of love, although the sly calypso underneath “I Ain’t No Miracle Worker” shines a lot of groovy light onto it, and the flute-led folk flow of “Inner Mystique” shows a way into eternity, which this group more than deserve.